Table of Contents
Introduction to Discussions about Studies on Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Magic Weapons in The journey to the West
The Unfathomable Song Jiang
The Death of Beauties in The Plum in the Golden Vase and A Dream of Red Mansions
Undying Love： The Romantic Story of jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu
Five Main Facts in A Dream of Red Mansions
The Kinship between The Plum in the Golden Vase and The Water Margin
The Motif of Cats and Dogs in Ximen Household
Ma Chunshang—A Typical Character in The Scholars
Use of an Object in the Narrative Structure
Illusions as Man's Own Creation and the Art of Using Fairy Tales to Reflect Realities： Onthe Painted Wall"of Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
A Look into the Mind of Common Individuals：On"The Pearl—sewn Shirt"
"Baochai Chasing Butterflies"： Mood and Thoughts"
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As presented in the novel,when the goddess Nuwa was repairing the sky,she melted thirty-six thousand,five hundred and one large building blocks.She used thirty-six thousand five hundred of these blocks in the course of her building operations,leaving a single odd block unused at the foot of the Blue Ridge Peak.Observing that all the other blocks had been used for celestial repairs and that it was the only one to have been rejected as unworthy,this block of stone was filled with shame and re-sentment and passed its days in sorrow and lamentation.Calling itself astupid object",the rejected stone begged a Buddhist monk and a Taoist priest passing by to bring it with them to see the world,thus entering the mortal realm as a piece of luminescent jade in Jia Baoyu's mouth.This magical piece of jade,once a block of stone abandoned wheri the goddess Nuwa mended the heavens,is in fact a piece of"fake precious jade".
This is a deep and meaningful plot thread given that the book was set in imperial China."Heaven"in an imperial dynasty represented the imperial court and the emperor acted as the"Son of Heaven",ruling everyone under heaven.Those without a post in the court were regarded as unqualified to serve the emperor,like the stone which was left over in mending the heavens and discarded below the Blue Ridge Peak-a homophone with the"roots of desire"and an implicit outcry against the feudal morality that supported sense over sensitivity Cao's use of the useless Brother Stone as narrator in the novel therefore implies his uncooperative attitude towards the mainstream values of his times.Speaking on behalf of the author,"Brother Stone"plays a role similar to a CIA reconnaissance satellite； or Le Diable Boiteux in the French novel who lifts the roofs of houses to see what people really do； or a Grand Historian who documents everything going on around Jia Baoyu and makes analysis,judgments and reflections； or a cinematographer who records performance of actors.