The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber; Volume 1: The Golden Days Topics for Discussion

Cao Xueqin
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Consider the quatrain found in the first chapter of the book that describes how the story is written. It says that, "All men call the author fool; None his secret message hears." After reading the story, what do you believe this secret message is to which the quatrain refers? Explain your answer.

Consider the monk and Taoist who appear to different characters throughout the novel. Are these the same monk and Taoist from beginning to end or different people? Explain your answer.

Explore the relationship between Bao-yu, Bao-chai and Dai-yu. How is it that Bao-yu and Dai-yu could know each other in the Land of Illusion, be sent to earth together then not be fated to be together? Do you believe it is Bao-yu's fate to be with Bao-chai? Why or why not?

Consider Qin-shi's funeral. Do you believe Qin-shi would have wanted such a sensational funeral...

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This section contains 248 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber; Volume 1: The Golden Days Study Guide
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