The Story Of The Stone (Also Known As The Dream Of Red Mansions, The Dream Of The Red Chamber, Etc.) Is Generally Accepted As Chinas Greatest Novel. What Are Its Most Outstanding Qualities As Literature?
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Most of famous traditional Chinese novels have the universal and unique artistic style, writing technique and artistic language, ÐŽoHonglou mengÐŽ± is one of the best novels that contain profound cultural connotation and ideological content. As well known, the original author Cao xue qing only wrote the first eighty chapters of this novel, but died before the completion of the last 40. The last 40 chapters of the novel are of questionable authenticity. It is been said that the other forty chapters were written by Gao E. It is not a completely and unified whole so that the literary qualities of first eighty chapters might be discussed more efficiently rather than the last forty chapters in this essay. In addition, Honglou mengÐŽÐ‡s three most outstanding qualities as literature which is its netted form structure, the vivid characters in the novel and diversity of literature technique will be discussed in this essay.
Honglou meng is a book which consumed the whole life of Cao xue qing. It is believed that the novel is semi-autobiographical, mirroring the fortunes of Cao Xueqins own family. It was intended to be a memorial to the women Cao knew in his youth: friends, relatives, and servants, as the author details in the first chapter. The novel itself is a detailed, episodic record of the lives of the extended Jia Clan, made up of two branches, the Ning-guo and Rong-guo houses, which occupies two large adjacent family compounds in the Qing capital, [Beijing]. Their ancestors were made Dukes, and at the novels start the two houses were still one of the most illustrious families in the capital. It can be obviously seen that the subject content of this novel is not easy to understand but contains profound meanings. As Lu Xun said it will be had various understanding of Honglou meng by various personsÐŽÐ‡ eyes. It is clear that the three most outstanding qualities as literature of Honglou meng which is the structure, the characters and the literature technique should not be ignored.
Firstly, the netted form structure of the novel is one of the most three outstanding qualities as literature for Honglou meng. The entire one hundred and twenty chapters have contained highly actualistic and tragic formation. The first half chapters draw a flourishing life style of JiaÐŽÐ‡s family, whereas, the left half chapters depict a downfallen phase of this family. It is usually saying that the whole book is separated to four entities by the downfall of JiaÐŽÐ‡s family. The first single entity is chapter one to five, the prelude as a leading role that implies a relationship among JiaÐŽÐ‡s family and the characteristic and destiny of some main characters. The second entity is chapter six to fifty-five which is the most golden ages of JiaÐŽÐ‡s family. The third entity usually is deemed to chapter fifty-six to hundred-four which JiaÐŽÐ‡s family is going down compare to its flourishing life. The fourth entity is the left chapters that depict a downfallen phase of JiaÐŽÐ‡s family. In these four entities mostly in the first three entities the original author Cao xue qing organized thousands stories among the characters that imply the downfall of JiaÐŽÐ‡s family and the tragic romantic story among Bao yu, Dai yu and Bao chai. In addition, every single character has own story in the novel. However, all these stories have clues to touch in together. This combination of love story and family story makes Honglou mengÐŽÐ‡s structure netted. Hence, one of the most outstanding qualities as literature of Honglou meng is its netted form structure.
Secondly, the vivid characters in Honglou meng can be seem to be another outstanding quality as literature. There are more than hundred characters in Honglou meng, characters who have significant and vivid characteristic are around fifty, for example 12 beauties of Jin ling, Xi ren, Ping er, Jia bao yu, Jia yu cun, Jia lian and so on. All these charactersÐŽÐ‡ vivid language and demeanor construct the rich screen of Honglou meng, and reveal the main theme of the book step by step. For instance Wang xi feng as 12 beauties of Jin ling is one of the most vivid characters in this book, she brings boisterous scene where she comes. Greed, atrocity, blackness and guile can be abstract from her. In chapter fifteen, author depicted Wang xi fengÐŽÐ‡s real characteristic by the story of ÐŽousing her power in Tie Jian templeÐŽ±, Wang xi fengÐŽÐ‡s evil deeds brought death to a number of people. Apart from the suicide of the betrothed couple, she broke this couple forcibly by receiving three thousand silvers from the old nun (Honglou meng, chapter 15, 198-200). In chapter sixty-six to sixty-nine, author Cao xue qing used almost three whole chapters to show her evil characteristic when she found her husband Jia lian married You er jie by stealth. She used different tactics for different people. For You er jie, Wang xi feng deceived her to move into the Grand view Garden first, after that You er jie was forced to commit suicide by her cruel treatment. For Zhang hua the snitch, she killed her without dirty her hands (Honglou meng chapter 67-69, 925-963). The full description of Wang xi fengÐŽÐ‡s vivid character strongly exposed one of authorÐŽÐ‡s main themes in Honglou meng which is the darkness of feudalistic society in authorÐŽÐ‡s periods. However, there are also other vivid characters to reveal the main theme of the book. Jia bao yuÐŽÐ‡s traitorous idea represented primary democracy in feudalistic society. The heroine Lin dai yuÐŽÐ‡s complex characteristic and the dare to seek love could be seem as a conflict of social ethics. Therefore, author was successes to draw a ÐŽoGrand View GardenÐŽ± in feudalistic society with these vivid characters. Hence, the vivid characters in the book is another outstanding quality as literature for Honglou meng.
Finally, the diversity of literature technique is one of the most outstanding qualities as literature. However, poems and songs is one of these techniques