Romance of the three kingdoms is a novel written by Guanzhong Luo during the Han dynasty dramatizing the lives of the feudal lords and their retainers. The kingdoms involved in a lot of struggles and battles as they strive to achieve dominance in China. It gives a life history of leaders from their childhood as they struggle to protect their territories. Even though many of the leaders were involved in various evil acts, some of them were good in their deeds to ensure that justice is found. The novel gives an analogy of how youths were viewed in society and how they struggle to ensure that peace is found. Although the novel is gender bias, it depicts youths as people who have power and political ability as they battle for control.
The novel is gender bias as female youths are less represented in the story. Most of the youths who joined politics such as Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Gongsun Zan are all male, and they strive so hard to gain power. However, some female such as Fu Shou and princess consort, Tang Ying also joined politics despite their gender. Liu Bei, for example, became politically aware and organized militia assembly to suppress rebellion during the yellow turban rebellion. The youthful life of Liu Bei is depicted as full of ambition to ensure that the country lives in peace. He is a kind man who is liked by his friends which is the driving force behind his success as a youth. Through this, he influenced many of his youths such as Guan Yu whom he leads to the battlefield to fight the rebellious group.
Youths are also depicted to be coming from different economic and social classes as some come from a low-income family while others come from a wealthy family. Liu Bei, for example, is from a low class as his family was impoverished, but this did not hinder him from gaining power and be active in politics. Using the example of Liu Bei, the novel depicts youths as people who not only have the ambition to be engaged in politics, but they are also power hungry as they struggle to get to power. Nonetheless, youths are also depicted as people who have the capability as they are courageous. For instance, Cao Cao, during his youth life managed to rescue the imperial family from the hands of the gangs who caused much tension in their kingdom. As a consequence, youths are depicted as people who love peace and will fight any conflict to ensure peace prevails in the society where they come from.
In conclusion, the romance of three kingdoms depicts and represent youths in various aspects such as social class, gender, political ability, and power. Multiple characters that take part in active politics are male, but some few female characters also represent the female figure in the novel. Liu Bei is a youth who is ambitious and have the power of influence that makes him popular among his friends. He influences them to organize military troops to fight the insurgent group that caused chaos in their kingdom. Although he is seen as a courageous person who has a passion for politics, he depicts youths as people who are power hungry. They strive despite all obstacles such as a social class to ensure that they rise to the top of the power.
Moody, Peter R. “The romance of the three kingdoms and popular Chinese political thought.” The Review of Politics 37.2 (1975): 175-199.