The Dream of Red Mansion

 clip image002 The Dream of Red MansionThe Dream of Red Mansion is one of the four celebrated Chinese classic novels (The Dream of Red Mansion, Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin) which is a masterpiece of realism written in the middle of eighteenth century. The Dream of Red Mansion is also named Story of the Stone. A description of rise and fall of sediments represented by the four most prominent families (Jia, Shi, Wang and Xue) and reveals the complex contradictions of the feudal family, performance of the feudal marriage, morality, culture, education and decadent, degenerate and create a series of nobility civilians and the tragic image of a slave woman who has demonstrated an extremely broad typical feudal society living environment.

The story took Jia Baoyu, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai’s love story as the master line. It reflects the twists and turns that society is bound to collapse, the declining trend of history. Rebel extolling aristocratic also works against the feudal ethics and love. The initial pursuit of individual freedom embodied the democratic idea, and reveals the profound and comprehensive Jia Lin.

Taking as its background, the decline of several related big families clip image004 The Dream of Red Mansionand drawing much from his own experiences, the author Cao Xueqin focused on the tragic love between Jia Baoyu and Lin Dai yu and, in the meantime, provides a panorama of the lives of people of various levels in the degenerating empire. Cao XueQin(1715-63) was born into a family which for three generations held the office of Commissioner of Imperial Textiles in Nanking, a family so wealthy that they were able to entertain the Emperor Kangxi four times. But calamity overtook them and their property was confiscated. Cao Xueqin was living in poverty near Peking when he wrote his famous novel The Story of the Stone (also known as The Dream of the Red Chamber). But he left the work unfinished (or the last 40 chapters lost). Gao E (c. 1738 –c. 1815) completed the work some years later in much of Cao’s spirit and also put in his own revelation, which aroused protracted controversy throughout centuries. Exposing social evils, the book cries out denunciation against the feudal system. All techniques of literary merit developed in previous periods have been incorporated into the great work with much originality. It stands out in the world literature ranking with Hamlet and War and Peace.

clip image006 The Dream of Red MansionThe name of the main family is a homonym with another Chinese character, which means false, fake. Thus, it suggests that the novel‘s family is both a realistic reflection and a fictional or “dream” version of the writer’s family.

The Dream of Red Mansion has many aspects of knowledge such as medicine, philosophy, even foodstuff and so on. As an unmatched literary classic, its inception has been attracting a great number of literature experts many of whom have spent their whole life on researching the book.

 

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One Response to The Dream of Red Mansion

  1. xtaaxtw says:

    In my opinion,the book also had a great impact upon society’s perception of women, specifically women of the middle and upper classes. Society’s attitudes had of course fluctuated over the ages but the Dream helped cement the opinion that women should be elegant, sensitive and delicate – in other words, unable to care for themselves or to work outside of the house. It therefore became the role of men to protect these women and ensure that they could maintain a household in which they could moon about as they wished without being disturbed by the outside world. For the women concerned themselves, this had both positive and negative elements. Positively, the women did not have any real requirement to undertake domestic labour and could spend their time on artistic or craft or even social activities. Negatively, of course, it meant that their freedom to travel or fulfill themselves outside of the house was severely curtailed. Ultimately, this became manifest in the practice of foot-binding, which restricted the sphere of activity of women to an enormous extent and made them even more of economic burdens for the remainder of the household.

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