The Yin Yang symbol also commonly referred to as the Tai-Chi symbol is easily thought of in todayâ€™s popular culture as a reference to the Sun (yang) the moon (yin) and the universe. Allen Tsaiâ€™s article provides some insight into the origins of the symbol itself, the meaning behind the curvature of the symbol, and how the Chinese symbol has found a place in popular culture. Allen Tsai goes into explicit detail on how the Chinese developed a surprising understanding of the stars and how they used the constellations and the sun to determine the seasons, the length of a calendar year and the time of the earths rotation around the sun.
Tsai explains how the symbol is at its basic meaning a â€śChinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon. â€ť In Alexia Amvraziâ€™s essay discussing the Evil Eye symbol, she presents all aspects of the symbol including what it is used for, who uses it, and why it is used. She explains that the Evil Eye is â€śa glance believed to have the ability to harm those on whom it fallsâ€ť and can take place at any given time from any given person. (Amvrazi).
The primary purpose of both, Where Does the Yin Yang Symbol Come From? and The Eyes Have It: Evil Eye in Greece, is to inform the reader of both the meaning an the use behind these well known symbols. This is clearly shown by the detailed descriptions of the symbols and the enlightening information; such as Amvraziâ€™s attempt to explain to readers the many different cultures â€śJewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu and Christiansâ€ť and how they incorporate the Evil Eyeâ€™s meaning into their teachings (Amvrazi).
The informative purpose remains prevalent in Tsaiâ€™s essay as he explains that â€śthe Yin Yang symbol is a Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenonâ€ť and that it â€ścontains the cycle of sun, four seasons, 24-Segment Chi, the foundation of I-Ching, and the Chinese calendarâ€ť (Tsai). The common pattern of both authors is that they each began with the origin of each symbol. Tsai demonstrated this by starting his essay by explaining the the Yin Yang symbol is â€śsometimes called the Tai Chi symbolâ€ť and that â€śTai Chi is from I-Ching,â€ť also known as â€śthe greatest foundation of Chinese philosophyâ€ť (Tsai).
Amvrazi exhibits this pattern by starting her essay off with a scenario of where one might have experienced a result of the receipt of the Evil Eye and then goes on to explain what the evil eye is, what the causes are and who is susceptible to it The secondary purpose of Tsaiâ€™s essay is to describe. He describes many different aspects of the symbol. He explains that the â€śis a symbol combining the sun (top) and moon (bottom)â€ť (Tsai). He also goes a bit deeper into his explanation by describing the unchanging rules and different ways to observe the sky in order to determine the â€śfour directionsâ€ť (Tsai).
He also provides multiple visuals to go along with each description. He continues by discussing the seasonal changes and the cycle of the Sun. Itâ€™s almost as if he provides his readers with a step by step instructional handout of how to determine the many changes our universe encounters throughout the course of a year, or many years for that matter. Alexia Amvraziâ€™s essay is very similar in that her secondary purpose is coincidentally also to describe. In this case, she describes what the actual Evil Eye symbol looks like.
Her description states that one could recognize an Evil Eye as â€śglass blue eye charms to ward against the evil eyeâ€ť (Amvrazi). She states further that these charms â€śare still regularly soldâ€ť and worn by many people. They can be spotted on a more regular basis in countries such as Greece and Turkey where many of the residents are very religious and/or superstitious. The next pattern shown throughout Tsaiâ€™s essay is a bit of a spatial one in the since that throughout the whole essay, Tsai discusses the ever changing universe and its relation to the sun and moon in the sky.
He even talks about the many positions of the Dipper and the way the sun is affected by its changes. The next pattern in Amvraziâ€™s essays differs from Tsaiâ€™s in that she takes more of a compare and contrast route when she discusses the similarities and differences in the ways the Greek Church and folklore view the wearing of the Evil Eye charm. The â€śGreek church and folklore are both unitedâ€¦in their belief that the curse of the evil eye (or kako mati) exists, but divided in how it can be warded off or tackledâ€ť (Amvrazi).
The final purpose of both Tsai and Amvraziâ€™s essays are to help make such technical concepts as these more understandable to the general public. They each accomplish this task by introducing, in Tsaiâ€™s case the Ying-Yang symbol and in Amyraziâ€™s the Evil Eye symbol and providing an in depth and comprehensive understanding of both. Whatâ€™s great about each essay is that both authors strive to make them as understandable as possible by breaking down each topic as much as possible while still keeping the audience interested.
The final pattern of organization in Tsaiâ€™s essay is a bit of a process oriented one. He discusses the process of â€śrecording the Dipper’s positions and watching the shadow of the Sunâ€ť (Tsai). This process was used by ancient chinese [when they] determined the four directionsâ€ť (Tsai). The final pattern of organization in Amvraziâ€™s essay is used to introduce and define new terminology used in the churches in relation to the Evil Eye. For instance, she references a term, â€śkako matiâ€ť which is another term for Evil Eye.
She continues to introduce a few other new words, such as â€śVaskania,â€ť all of which are used to help expand readers knowledge of the Evil Eye and the views of the Greek church. Overall the two essays were both written with the primary intention of informing their audiences of the meaning and uses of the Yin and Yang symbol and of the Evil Eye. Tsai main focus was on the universe and all its changes. He talks a lot about the position of the moon, sun, and stars in the sky. The main focus of Amvraziâ€™s essay was to shed light on a symbol recognized by many different cultures and its significance.