Biography of Kim Trong from The Tale of Kieu Essay

Biography of Kim Trong from The Tale of Kieu            Kim Trong is one of the main characters of Nguyen Du’s The Tale of Kieu. He falls in love with Kieu at first sight and breaks some of the social taboos by renting a house next to Kieu’s so that the lovers could meet and accomplishes his faith in good karma being instrumental in his meeting her. It is, however, ironical that in spite of good karma favoring him Kim has to wait many years before he is finally reunited with his loved one.Kim Trong is a positive minded individual who believes in the Buddhist doctrine of four noble truths and considers that it was the good karma of both of them that had brought about this happy juncture. Unfortunately, the circumstances in which Kieu finds herself tests this belief and Kim Trong’s inherent strength and conviction of Kieu’s innocence and chastity comes through in this tragic tale.Kieu has to face a lot of hardships which are painful and oppressive, and forces her to sacrifice her happiness in order to fulfill the social custom of preventing her family’s loss of face. She is willing to bear the oppressions as repentence for the sins of her past life and after a chain of sad events vows to spend the rest of her life as a nun.

Kim Trong is seen as a person who is able to assess a situation without bias. While upholding religious tennets and social customs, he has the courage and moral conviction to uphold and respect Kieu’s honor knowing that she had been violated by her circumstances and not by choice. He appreciates Kieu’s words “You’ve named me your bride–to serve [you], [I] must place chastity above all else” and is willing to give her due respect even though she really has not been able to live upto these words. (II.505-6) He took up her cause and showed respect to her father and her family by agreeing to marry her.            This shows us that Kim Trong was a broad-minded, honorable and compassionate person. He was true to his love and believed in good karma that would help him to redeem his pledge to his betrothed. His good karma paid off as he was finally able to live a happy life with Kieu.

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Work CitedSheldon, Mary F. “Confucian and Buddhist values in Nguyen Du’s the Tale of Kieu.” East-           West Connections 8.1 (2008): 1+. Literature Resources from Gale. Web.

4 May 2010.


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