“Dream Red Mansion “Excerpt” Match Made in Heaven”

Dream of Red Mansion never fails to inspire, the entire novel has layers of gems that encapsulates the lives of aristocrats in Chinese feudal society. Most people are familiar with the tragic love triangle entangling Jia Baoyu, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai. We see great historic, entertainment, artistic and cultural values in the minor plots of action, less familiar nevertheless enchanting stories. We will present six out of 24 such wonderful excerpts identified and will begin the series with these few excerpts:-

    1. Miao-yu Attains Inner Peace (妙玉净心)
    2. You San-jie Slains with the Betrothal Sword (尤三姐折簪饮剑)
    3. Qing-wen Mends Baoyu’s  Cloak (晴雯补裘)
    4. Baoyu Visits Banished Qing-wen (宝玉探晴雯)
    5. You Er-jie Swallows Gold (尤二姐吞金)
    6. Match Made in Heaven (金玉良缘)

 

“Miao-yu Attains Inner Peace”

Is presented in the form of a “fo chan” (佛尘) dance. A “fo chan” is device associated with divine beings and has significant auspicious meaning which is uniquely Chinese. Miao-yu esteems herself highly, as a result, is proud and aloof but remains open to people she takes a liking to, such as Jia Baoyu. She is also a very talented poet and highly learned, maybe even more than Lin Daiyu. She appreciates Baoyu’s following his own heart and loving Lin Daiyu openly. She turns to Buddhism to defy the contradictions around her. Finally she finds solace in her own terms, “When fate calls, so does existential competence. When existential competence calls, there arises a task of a self to grow constantly and forever.”

 
 

“You San-jie Slains with the Betrothal Sword”

Jia Lian marries You Er-jie in secrecy and find her a home outside the mansion. Meanwhile Jia Zhen and Jia Lian try to flirt with her younger sister, strong-willed You San-jie but was humiliated by her instead. You San-jie admires Liu Xianglian and their engagement, arranged by Jia Lian, is endorsed with a gift of his heirloom, a precious sword. Rumours of her alleged flirtatious nature reached his ears and he visited Jia Mansion with intention to retrieve his betrothal gift. Tragedy happens when You San-jie slains herself with the sword in steadfast defiance.

 
 
 

“Qing-wen Mends Baoyu’s Cloak”

is another example of opera in dance format. Qing-web us Jia Baoyu’s other handmaiden. Brash, haughty and the most beautiful maid in the household, Qingwen is said to resemble Lin Daiyu. She is the only one who dares to argue when reprimanded, but is also extremely devoted to Jia Baoyu. She was disdainful of Xiren’s attempt to use her sexual relation with Baoyu to raise her status in the family, ironically Madame Wang suspected her of seducing her son and banished her on that account. In this operatic dance, Qing-wen portrays her devotion by painstakingly mending a hole in Baoyu’s precious peacock cloak.

 
 

“Baoyu Visits Banished Qing-wen”

Jia Baoyu has an easy going personality much loved by all young women, including maids, in Jia Mansion. His relationship with Qing Wen is quite unique as she is his personal attending maid, the other being Xi Ren. On the surface, the forthright and outspoken Qing Wen harbours no erotic feeling for Jia Baoyu. Their strong bond and emotional attachment becomes obvious when she is banished by Madame Wang and sent home. At her sick bed, she laments her ill-fate and regret. Jia Baoyu steals a visit to see her for the last time, she dies in despair from suffering for being accused as a seductress.

 
 

“You Er-jie Swallows Gold”

You Er-jie, second wife of Jia Lian, is the step-sister of Jia Zhen’s wife. She is beautiful and she is gentile. Jia Zhen seduced her for his own pleasure but marries her off to Jia Lian when he has enough fun. However, Jia Lian, terrified of his wife Wang Xifeng, marries her in secrecy and keeps her in a residence outside Jia Mansion. The secret is exposed and Wang Xifeng has plans to get even with You Er-jie under the pretext of giving her a legitimate place in Jia Mansion where she has a miscarriage after consuming tonic for her illness. In despair, she ends her life swallowing the gold nugget given by Jia Lian to make her jewelry.

 
 

“Dream Red Mansion “Excerpt” Match Made in Heaven”

The carefree adolescent male heir of the family, Jia Baoyu has a special bond with his sickly cousin Lin Daiyu, who shares his love of music and poetry. Baoyu, however, is predestined to marry another cousin, Xue Baochai, whose grace and intelligence exemplify an ideal woman, but with whom he lacks an emotional connection. The romantic rivalry and friendship among the three characters against the backdrop of the family’s declining fortunes form the main story in the novel which climaxed into an ill-fated plot. Baoyu is deceived into marrying Xue Baochai by the elders who kept him in the belief that he is marrying the love of his life.