The Nine Cloud Dreams Themes & Motifs

Kim Man-jung
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Dream and Reality

In The Nine Cloud Dream, Kim expresses the belief that reality and dream are intertwined through the narrative structure of the novel. In the beginning, Hsing-chen is punished by being reincarnated as Shao-yu. After Shao-yu lives a long and eventful life, Hsing-chen wakes up having experienced it as a dream. But in between, there are a number of places where the two realities penetrate each other or influence each other. Kim often shows this happening very subtly, but it clearly happens. The most extreme example of this is when, after visiting the Dragon King, Shao-yu climbs the mountain and questions why he worries so much about his worldly concerns and promptly finds himself at Liu-kuan's monastery before waking up in his tent on the borderlands. By questioning his material existence, Shao-yu glimpsed his other, more enlightened reality as Hsing-chen, though even this is presented...

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This section contains 1,859 words
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