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Ying Yang Symbol Essay

The Yin Yang symbol also commonly referred to as the Tai-Chi symbol is easily thought of in today’s popular culture as a reference to the Sun (yang) the moon (yin) and the universe. Allen Tsai’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 “Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon. ” In Alexia Amvrazi’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 “a glance believed to have the ability to harm those on whom it falls” 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 Amvrazi’s attempt to explain to readers the many different cultures “Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu and Christians” and how they incorporate the Evil Eye’s meaning into their teachings (Amvrazi).

The informative purpose remains prevalent in Tsai’s essay as he explains that “the Yin Yang symbol is a Chinese representation of the entire celestial phenomenon” and that it “contains the cycle of sun, four seasons, 24-Segment Chi, the foundation of I-Ching, and the Chinese calendar” (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 “sometimes called the Tai Chi symbol” and that “Tai Chi is from I-Ching,” also known as “the greatest foundation of Chinese philosophy” (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 Tsai’s essay is to describe. He describes many different aspects of the symbol. He explains that the “is a symbol combining the sun (top) and moon (bottom)” (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 “four directions” (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. It’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 Amvrazi’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 “glass blue eye charms to ward against the evil eye” (Amvrazi). She states further that these charms “are still regularly sold” 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 Tsai’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 Amvrazi’s essays differs from Tsai’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 “Greek church and folklore are both united…in their belief that the curse of the evil eye (or kako mati) exists, but divided in how it can be warded off or tackled” (Amvrazi).

The final purpose of both Tsai and Amvrazi’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 Tsai’s case the Ying-Yang symbol and in Amyrazi’s the Evil Eye symbol and providing an in depth and comprehensive understanding of both. What’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 Tsai’s essay is a bit of a process oriented one. He discusses the process of “recording the Dipper’s positions and watching the shadow of the Sun” (Tsai). This process was used by ancient chinese [when they] determined the four directions” (Tsai). The final pattern of organization in Amvrazi’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, “kako mati” which is another term for Evil Eye.

She continues to introduce a few other new words, such as “Vaskania,” 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 Amvrazi’s essay was to shed light on a symbol recognized by many different cultures and its significance.


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