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The Dreamer Wakes (The Story of the Stone, #5)
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John Seymour Share your thoughts about Lady Jia's funeral.

message 2: by Patrick (new) - added it

Patrick Robitaille | 904 comments This was a mess of conflicts between respecting Chinese traditions befitting the funeral of such an important elder and the domestic and financial problems afflicting the Jia family. To a great extent, it revealed the true nature of the (self-)interests of several groups of characters (the Aunts, the maids and servants).

John Seymour Confucian social norms and duties are aimed at creating harmony with family and within society, but here we see the demands for a large public funeral to conform with social expectations creating conflict and disharmony. If Cao is comparing Confucianism on the one hand and Buddhism and Taoism on the other, then this scene is surely a criticism of the surface honoring of elders and ancestors endemic in Confucian society. This is then countered with the harmony (in the next world, anyway) found through Taoism.

Book Wormy | 1922 comments Mod
I agree with you both it was a mess and I resented the family taking advantage of the maids in terms of possessions.

message 5: by Pip (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pip | 1357 comments Such an interesting question, John. I hadn't thought about the conflicts between Confucianism and Buddhism and Taoism before. But it is all there in that episode.

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