The Importance of the Great Wall of China

4 April 2015
This essay examines the importance of the Great Wall of China as one of a handful of human creations around the world that encompasses an entire national identity.

This paper looks at both the physical and the cultural history of the wall, demonstrating how it has meant different things to different dynasties of Chinese lives, not only reflecting what it is that the Chinese believe themselves to be but also shaping what it is that they have become.

From the paper:

?The Great Wall remains a powerful symbol of China’s national tradition and historical continuity. And yet it is important to understand that it is in many ways the product of an historical myth ? like Washington?s wooden teeth. It is probably true that all people tell stories about themselves as a way of creating a sense of both national identity and national pride and there is nothing wrong with this ? so long as we recognize the fact that we are dealing with myth and not with history.

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