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Word Count: 289
In the novel The Tae of Pooh we are introduced to a picture of The Vinegar Tasters We are told there are three masters that are sampling vinegar and each represents the Essence of Life The third man Lao-tse is smiling whereas the other two were either making a sour or bitter face From knowing this we can tell Lao-tse of the three men is the optimist one because though vinegar does not have the most pleasant taste he does not look at it with an unappreciative mind as the others do Instead he smiles Using Hoffs response he is smiling because his understanding changes what others may perceive as negative into something positive through working in harmony with lifes circumstances The vinegar in the bowl represents life when understood and utilized for what it is is sweet which is why Lao-tse is smiling To him the vinegar is sweet However what I disagree with or do not understand my self is that Lao-tse does not have much understanding of or how to use vinegar so if vinegar represents life he would have to understand and know how to utilize vinegar for it to taste sweet no Other than that I would have to say I agree with Hoffs response therefore I do not have my own individual view to this question I could say that perhaps he just likes the taste or perhaps he just finds the situation funny however because it is an allegorical scroll the meaning is perhaps one which is deep Then again because allegorical can mean to have a timeless meaning - then there is no one meaning as to why Lao-tse is smiling
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