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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 904 comments Share your thoughts about Jia Yu-Cun's encounter with the Taoist monk at Rushford Hythe (ch. 103-104) which ends with the temple engulfed in flames and the monk nowhere to be found. Specifically, is there any symbolism between what happened in this encounter and the subsequent events of the book?

message 2: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1932 comments Mod
Good question, we know the monk survived as he appears again later to escort Bao-Yu so does his disappearance foreshadow Bao-Yu's and does the burning of the temple symbolize the falling apart of the family?

message 3: by John (new)

John Seymour I thought that was a different monk. I understood the monk that escorted Bao-Yu at the end to be the monk who popped in from time to time during the course of the story. The one from the burning temple is the one who sees Jia Yu-Cun at the river crossing after Bao-Yu's enlightenment and who explains what happened to Bao-Yu. I thought these were different.

I agree, good question, but I have no idea.

message 4: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1361 comments The monk who met Jia Yu-Cun on the riverbank and whose hermitage is engulfed by fire turns out to be Zhen Shi-Yin, the father of Caltrop. He explains who he is when he meets Jai Yu-Cun again in the last book. I also have no clue whether the immolation of the hermitage is significant. It was, noteworthy, however, that Jai Yu-Cun was worried about whether the monk was okay, but not sufficiently worried to keep him from his important worldly duties.

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