Journal directory listing - Volume 61 (2016) - Journal of NTNU: Linguistics & Literature【61(2)】September

Revisiting “the Marriage Rite of Gold and Jade” in The Dream of the Red Chamber Author: Li-Chuan Ou (Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 61, No. 2
Date:September 2016


A popular reading of the love and marriage between the protagonists of The Dream of the Red Chamber involves opposing the marriage rite of gold and jade (Jin-yu-liang-in, 金玉良姻) to the pledge between plant and stone (Mu-shi-qian-mon, 木石前盟). This article investigates and contends such interpretations on textual grounds. Fundamentally, in the narrative of the novel, the marriage of plant and stone is referred to, supported, and emphasized considerably more than Jin-yu-liangin. This suggests that the main line of the narrative is a would-be marriage of Jia Bao-yu with Daiyu, rather than with Bao-chai. This paper concludes that Jin-yu-liang-in is not a motive or motor of the plot, nor an actualization of a theme with fully developed episodes, but rather an oracular “flash” anticipating a fateful end, which occurs despite purposes and intentions. From this perspective, some related episodes reveal significances different from popular interpretations, including, among others, all the episodes relating the attitudes of Xue Bao-chai to Jin-yu-liang-in and her attitude to the “career worm” (祿蠹). This paper carefully analyzes these episodes.

Keywords:Jin-yu-liang-in (the marriage rite of gold and jade), The Dream of the Red Chamber, Jia Bao-yu, Aunt Xue, Xue Bao-chai

《Full Text》 檔名

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  4. 【清】脂硯齋等評,陳慶浩(編著):《新編石頭記脂硯齋評語輯校》,增訂本(臺北市:聯經出版公司,1986)。
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APA FormatOu, L.-C. (2016). Revisiting “the marriage rite of gold and jade” in The Dream of the Red Chamber. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Linguistics & Literature, 61(1), 29-57.
Chicago FormatOu, ​Li-Chuan. “Revisiting “the Marriage Rite of Gold and Jade” in The Dream of the Red Chamber.” Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Linguistics & Literature 61, no. 2 (2016): 29-57.