Essay on From ‘Dream of Red Chamber’ to Explore the Marriage System

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Pages: 9

From ‘Dream of Red Chamber’ to explore the marriage system in imperial China ‘Dream of Red Chamber’, written by Cao Xueqin in the eighteenth century, is the first Chinese novel which used a love tragedy to convey the message of the miserable marriage life of the Chinese. It was a common practice for author to turn a love tragedy into a happy ending instead. For example: in ‘The palace of eternal youth’, despite troubles in the present life, the two main characters, Li Longji and Yang Yuhuan, were able to be with each other in their future lives after death, with the help of heavenly Emperor. Since ‘Dream of Red Chamber’ made such a breakthrough in Chinese literature, this paper will focus on how he love tragedy between Jia Baoyu, Lin …show more content…
They are morality, proper speech, modest manner and diligent work. But when talking about academically, virtue is described as followed: ‘A woman who lacks talent is virtuous’. This explains why many women remained illiterate. Moreover, in chapter 97 of ‘Dream of Red Chamber’, when Daiyu was dying on the sickbed, Grandma Jia made a comment on virtue: ‘Only if she knows how to behave like a girl will I love her.’ Even though Daiyu has always won over Grandma Jia’s heart, when it comes down to virtue no tolerant could be seen. She left Daiyu to die alone. This suggests that nothing will matter anymore if virtue is foregone.
If Daiyu were compared with Baochai under these three criteria, no one would oppose the fact that Baochai outweigh Daiyu in all three. First, the ability to have offspring. This criterion is usually assessed by the females’ physical condition. Despite the fact that Daiyu has a gorgeous appearance, intelligent, she was weak and full of illness since she was a baby. In chapter 90 of ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’, Grandma Jia once said that [Daiyu] being so week is not a sign for long lived. Therefore, Baochai is already a better candidate. Second, the social status. When comparing on social status, both Daiyu and Baochai have equally good social status. However, their situations differ largely. Unfortunately for Daiyu, she has no choice but to stay with the Jia family since both of