This thesis mainly compares two different theories about XingLingShuo. One is from Gong'an San Yuan in Ming Dynasty, the other is from Yuanmei in Qing Dynasty. Through this research, we can see a distinction between them, analysis reason and discover the meaning of this comparative research.
It includes five parts. Part one, there are some similarities in theory between San Yuan in Gong'an and Yuanmei. Most of their literary ideas are identical. Both of them hold XingLing as their slogan. They advocate literature should express the true feeling of human's life and the interests of nature. They think natural personality is most important and the desire of person is reasonable. They emphasize subject spirit and individual value. They believe literature is developed constantly.
Part two, the reasons of their similarities. First, the effect of times background. Government tightened central power and carried on high-handed policy during Ming and Qing Dynasty. The scholars expressed their resistance through the woken subject consciousness and criticism to ChenZhuLiXue. Meanwhile, it's a result of economic development and active ideology during Ming and Qing Dynasty. Second, the effect of the traditional literary theory. The traditional theory of Chinese literature emphasizes conveying human's emotion. XingLingShuo in Ming and Qing Dynasty is an evolution of traditional theory. Third, the effect of the individual disposition. Yuanhongdao (the leader of San Yuan in Gong'an) and Yuanmei both have independent personality. They are pride and sincere. Their same disposition reflects fully in their theories.
Part three, the differences of the two theories. Gong'an San Yuan understand "XingLing" as a kind of natural personality They persuit the natural humanity and aloof "XingLing". All of these form their neutral XingLingShuo. Therefore, their theory advocates simple comfort instead of acquirement. Their literary writing must have selfish and coarse tendency under this principle. While Yuanmei forms his theory from the traditional theory which lays stress on talent. He emphasizes in born and talent in theory. So he can makes up for some defects of Gong'an San Yuan in literary writing.-In a word, the XingLingShuo of Yuanmei is a development of San Yuan in Gong'an.
Part four, the reasons of their differences. First, the effect of times background. The government was depraved in the late Ming Dynasty. Atmosphere of researching is corrupted. Gong'an San Yuan pursuits simple comfort in order to escape from the
society.. However, Yuanmei was in the goden times of KangQian(It was the most prosperous time in Qing Dynasty). At that time, scholars researched why Ming Dynasty was destroyed. They thought the reason was YangMingXinXue. Traditional spirit of manage affairs was awoken and scholars' responsibility was strengthen. The theory of Yuanmei is a reflection of that times. Second, the effect of the culture. At Gong'an San Yuan's times, tYangMingXinXue was very popular. So their theory was affected by YangMingXinXue deeply. While Yuanmei lived in the tradition returning times. His theory based on talent. Third, the effect of the individual disposition. YuanHongDao's life outlook was very pessimistic. So he chose to escape from the society. It's inevitable that his theory has some defects. While Yuanmei was optimistic. He was open-minded and brave. So he treated various theories in tolerance and developed the theory of Gong'an San Yuan.
Part five, conclusion. First, systematic literary theory must be based on prosperous of literature. There would be no spark of XingLingShuo without literature prosperous of Ming and Qing Dynasty. Second, the construction of literary theory keeps in contact with scholar's accomplishment including his ideas, hobby temper as well as his surrqunding. Third, formation of any new literary theory is a result of inheritance and creation. Forth, we should compare and research two different theories with developed attitude.