The Story of the Stone (Dream of Red Chamber) readalong #storyofstonealong discussion

16 views
Book I (Chapter 1-26) > Week 2 Chapter 8-14

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Meonicorn (The Bookish Land) (meonicorn) | 44 comments Mod
This is where we discuss about chapter 8 to chapter 14 of the book :)


message 2: by Beatrizmallow (new)

Beatrizmallow Today's chapter was very interesting, the school setting and the bullying due to homophobia feel very sadly relevant for a book written so long ago.


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 9 comments Oh I so need to catch up! I'm putting aside time today to get through Chapter 1 and hopefully by the end of the week I'll be close to 14!


message 4: by Foxed (new)

Foxed  Folios (foxedfolios) Beatrizmallow wrote: "Today's chapter was very interesting, the school setting and the bullying due to homophobia feel very sadly relevant for a book written so long ago."

With the portrayal of same-sex romantic attraction/relationships in Chapter 9, I wonder if we, the readers, are expected to infer any distinction between the preferences of Xue Pan, Qin Zhong and Bao-yu?

I also find it interesting that although Qin Zhong and Bao-yu (and other boys) experience bullying and homophobic attitudes, the text itself presents same-sex attraction in a quite matter-of-fact manner.

It's my understanding that up until the Qing period such relationships were accepted (or 'tolerated') as long as men fulfilled their (filial) duty of also taking up a wife/female consort or concubine and producing (male) heirs. I think China saw its first anti-gay law/decree in first half of 18th century, so it's interesting that this book is believed to have been written around 1760 when official attitudes seem to have started taking a more negative turn.


Meonicorn (The Bookish Land) (meonicorn) | 44 comments Mod
Sandra wrote: "Oh I so need to catch up! I'm putting aside time today to get through Chapter 1 and hopefully by the end of the week I'll be close to 14!"

Good luck reading!!


Meonicorn (The Bookish Land) (meonicorn) | 44 comments Mod
So glad to see you are still enjoying the book. I had some headache schedule at the beginning of the week, went to the hospital couple times (nothing to worry, there's a doctor did too many extra exams on me) and now I'm at the airport waiting for my flight back to Beijing, so I'm about 3 chapters behind schedule but I plan to catch up on the plane! haha.

Also Beijing has a garden built based on The Story of the Stone, it's near my home, so maybe I will go to the garden and take some pictures and share with all of you! How about that? I'm excited XD


Meonicorn (The Bookish Land) (meonicorn) | 44 comments Mod
FoxedFolios wrote: "Beatrizmallow wrote: "Today's chapter was very interesting, the school setting and the bullying due to homophobia feel very sadly relevant for a book written so long ago."

With the portrayal of sa..."


Great discussion!!! In ancient China it was normal to have same sex relationships, but it's more like "you can act on it as a hobby, and you still need a wife". And the higher position you are at, the more freedom you can have same sex relationship (normally male-male, I didn't know about any female-female historical relationships). That's all I have for now, will add more information after I caught up XD


Meonicorn (The Bookish Land) (meonicorn) | 44 comments Mod
Hi friends! How’s you reading going? I finally caught up with the book, and now up to chapter 15. I have so much to say for chapter 8-14!

I feel like these chapters really shows the personality of Xi-Feng, how she’s able to manage the daily business of her house and Bao-Yu recommended her confidently when Qin Shi died. Also we can tell he’s ambitious that she’s seizing any opportunities to prove herself. She’s both cold (to Jia Rui) and sweet (to Qin Shi). I remember when I was a child I like Xi-Feng the most in all the girls in the book, because she’s a strong and smart character. How do you feel about her? Especially the thing happened in chapter 12? Do you feel it’s okay for her to treat Jia Rui like that, or is it too much?


Also I think we know Dai-Yu a bit better too. She’s sensitive and...... sensitive lol. I’m worrying about her since she went back to home because of the sickness of her father.

I couldn’t access Goodreads by web now, I can only reply by the app, so I can’t reply to comment :/ Hope you all doing well and still enjoy the book!


message 9: by Foxed (new)

Foxed  Folios (foxedfolios) Haha! How funny - I have literally just come here to ask for people’s opinions on Xi-Feng! 😂
I like her as a character in the book as she’s richly drawn as expressed through her story threads. She’s clearly a highly capable and intelligent individual, but her personal character is more ambiguous I think. It depends on how one interprets her actions and attitudes. Is she simply a highly competent person who wants to help wherever she can (even perhaps with half an eye on currying good favour or building a stash of ‘personal credit’ with others for use at a later date), or is she more straightforwardly ambitious and power hungry? Hard to say. Viewed through a modern lens, we may be shocked by certain of her actions in Ch14, but would these be anything exceptional if taken in the context of the time? I suspect it may have been fairly commonplace..?

For me, it was one sentence near the beginning of Ch16 (which I won’t give here - it’s not spoilery at all, but it is in ch16! 😂) that gave me cause for further reflection on the true nature of her character.

Anyway, thanks for your post Meonicorn - and interested if any others have thoughts!


message 10: by Beatrizmallow (new)

Beatrizmallow I'm a little bit behind...I have some free time tomorrow and I will be catching up and coming back to report.


message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 9 comments What is a kotow? It mentions this in chapter 10 right at the beginning.


message 12: by Foxed (new)

Foxed  Folios (foxedfolios) Sandra - a Kowtow is a kneeling bow that conveys deep respect to the recipient. For very important individuals like members the imperial family, this could entail multiple kneeling bows with the forehead touching the floor each time. But I’m certainly no expert so anyone feel free to correct me/ jump in if I am wrong!


message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 9 comments Hi FoxedFolios - thank you for this! I thought it meant present haha, so glad to find this out.


back to top