Written in the midth century, it is set in the aristocratic Jia household in Beijing, a compound of some three hundred people. Chinese scholars like to compare Cao Xueqin to Shakespeare and have subjected his novel to similarly intense analysis a field known as "Redology"but a better parallel to The Story of the Stone might be the works of Jane Austen. It has had a huge impact on popular culture, especially as the subject of multiple television and film adaptations, and its characters are widely known. It has a similar focus on social interactions within a constrained and rule-bound social world — here one huge extended family instead of "three or four families in a country village" — and though Cao's humour is quite different and his subject material is in places much darker, he shares with Austen a playfulness and a lightness of touch.
The largest frame, that which contains the whole, consists of aDaoist-Buddhist creation myth about a heavenly stone that takes up residence on Earth in human form.
Indeed, Xueqin titled the first, eighty-chapter version of the novel The Story of the Stone, which shows the importance the author attached to this mythology.
The next-largest frame contains the story of the decline in the fortunes of the wealthy, aristocratic clan of the Jia. This story is not unrelated to the decline and increasing incompetence of the Qing Dynastythe last rampart of ancient Chinese civilization.
The smallest frame displays the story of the apprenticeship of the hero of the novel, the handsome and personable youth Jia Baoyu, in his progress from childhood to maturity as he seeks to learn the meaning of his existence as a human being in the hongzhen red dustor life of this earth.
This apprenticeship particularly involves his struggle to achieve understanding and personal liberation from the suffering caused by the claims of his romantic attachment to his cousin, the lovely but neurotic and tubercular Black Jade Lin Daiyuto whom he is affianced, and the claims of familial responsibility.
When he recovers, he resumes his Confucian studies, takes the examination at the provincial capital, and is successful in gaining a juren degree. Afterward, however, he experiences an awakening and comprehends his true relationship to the universe, is released from suffering, and gains the freedom and inner peace that he has been seeking.
Forthwith he rejects the world and becomes a monk. As the novel concludes, Baoyu is ostensibly being returned to the heaven that nurtured him by his old friends, a crazy Daoist and a crazy Buddhist monk. Thus, the central mythic plot of the novel comes full circle.
Critical reception Despite the popularity of Dream of the Red Chamber, especially after its publication in printed form, the vernacular novel, no matter how masterful, was not considered by most of the Confucian literati to be an important contribution to literature, primarily because of its informal literary style, being a mixture of colloquial and classical Chinese.
Although Dream of the Red Chamber frequently formed a topic of conversation in the homes of literate Chinese families and an enthusiastic scholar here and there ventured to undertake a commentary on it, it was not taken seriously as a work of art until the modern reform movement in education, language, and literature took place between and Inthe Empress Dowager Cixi abolished the old examination system that had controlled Chinese education for centuries.
InHu Shih and Chen Duxiu launched their literary reform movement. Chinese writers were astonished to learn of the high position accorded the novel in the West, and they began to write fiction in colloquial style and in adherence to Western literary criteria.
They were particularly impressed by Russian anarchism and psychological realism and promoted the writing of revolutionary literature.
The Japanese invasion of China in interrupted this activity. The literary reform movement not only introduced to China Western literary models but also encouraged Chinese writers and scholars to take a more serious interest in their own vernacular literary tradition—short stories, plays, and novels—particularly Dream of the Red Chamber.
Chinese writers other than scholars, however, had fallen under the spell of this masterpiece in their youth, and it affected their mature writing. In Professor Yu Pingbo, a popular and recognized authority on the novel, they recognized a ready-made scapegoat.
Indeed, the year saw the founding of a critical journal devoted exclusively to Dream of the Red Chamber. In the United States, Chinese scholars such as C. Plaks, while in England the work of David Hawkes has proved of signal importance.
Yet even from that severely limited point of view, the novel is remarkable enough. From the Daoist-Buddhist point of view, romantic attachment can harm and even prevent progress toward personal enlightenment and redemption.
The Daoist-Buddhist message is clear: Not until a person unshackles him- or herself from attachments can he or she become a stone. Then he can view things sub specie aeternitatis and rise above love and sympathy and good and evil.The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin is an animated, lively account of life in a large Chinese household in the midth century Qing dynasty.
It remains a fascinating novel for modern readers with its vivid and detailed descriptions of the minutiae of daily life – from clothing, food and interior design to education, marriage and death.
Cao Xueqin began to write it in about , and by the time of his death in , several eighty-chapter handwritten manuscripts, annotated by one working under the pen name Zhiyan Zhai (Red. The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin is an animated, lively account of life. in a large Chinese household in the midth century Qing dynasty.
It. remains a fascinating novel for modern readers with its vivid and detailed. descriptions of the minutiae of daily life - from clothing, food and. interior design to education, marriage and death/5(7).
The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin is an animated, lively account of life. in a large Chinese household in the midth century Qing dynasty.
It/5(7). Chinese scholars like to compare Cao Xueqin to Shakespeare and have subjected his novel to similarly intense analysis (a field known as "Redology"), but a better parallel to The Story of the Stone might be the works of Jane Austen.
It has had a huge impact on popular culture, especially as the subject of multiple television and film adaptations, and its characters are widely known.
Dream Analysis Paper: Psychology Spring Yvonne Valenzuela, Ed.D. William Austin 3/17/13 Dreams are often derived from the inner thresholds of an individual’s thoughts and repressed emotions.