A Chinese philosopher lived in late 4th century BC but influenced the world afterwards.

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Graph 1

The percentage of figurative lanugage per chapter ranged between around 3 and 12 percent, with higher percentages found in chapters that featured more parables and less arguments.

Graph 2

The only chapters with significant topical focus are Chapter 2: The Adjustment of Controversies and Chapter 4: Man in the World, Associated With Other Men. As the name implies, chapter 4 consists largely of anecdotes from conversations between friends, politicians, and scholars, generally concerning the mind and body. Since conversations are more literal than parables, and must be more directly about something, this could be why we see such a large topcial focus. Another attributable cause to this discrepancy in amount of topical focus is the difference in markup between members of this project.

Graph 3

Across the board, simile and metaphor comprised vast majority of figurative language Zhuangzi used. This is consistent with the style in which he constructs his arguments, wherein things that may not at all be like one another are implied to be identical, effectively neutralizing the meaning brought on through the comparison of the two.

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, it is possible our results and the conclusions we drew from them are incomplete or inaccurate. The underlying themes of the Zhuangzi have been discussed for millenia, and are not always easily identifiable through the structure and literal meaning of the words presented (especially given our limited experience and allowed time to sit with the translation). An inherent quality of translations is that they are entirely new documents which inevitably must carry different meaning than the source material, no matter how small. This calls into question the extent to which we may extrapolate our findings.