This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Story Of The Stone Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

Cao Xueqin’s Story of the Stone is a classic in Chinese literature, showcasing the life and exploits of the wealthy Jia clan during the feudal era. Through Cao’s depiction, the reader is afforded a glimpse into the customs and lifestyle of the time. Chinese mode of thought is depicted as it occurred in daily life, with the coexisting beliefs of Confucianism and Taoism. While the positive aspects of both ideologies are presented, Cao ultimately depicts Taoism as the paramount, essential system of belief that guides the character Bao-yu to his eventual enlightenment.
As was the case in China, Cao depicts the two forms of belief existing alongside one another, and not necessarily practiced exclusively to one another. Confucianism involves the concern for worldly affairs and order within a rigid social hierarchy, with importance placed on filial piety and family relations. Daoism is a way of thought that encompasses ideas of transcendental worlds of spirit through observation of simplicity, a comprehension of natural law and order, and a desire to lead with compassion, rather than force.
These beliefs are all presented early in Story of the Stone. In the beginning, it is a Buddhist monk and a Taoist who discover the stone. Though he initially considers ignoring the stone because of its perceived loose moral values and questionable content, the Taoist Vanitas is soon convinced of the worth of the story by the stone’s insistence that others may learn from the message, and thus avoid the same pitfalls that befell so many in the Jia clan. “My only wish is that men in the world below may sometimes pick up this tale… and in doing so find not only mental refreshment but even perhaps, if they will heed its lesson and abandon their vain and frivolous pursuits, some small arrest in the deterioration of their vital forces” (Cao, 50). After publishing the work, Vanitas experiences a Taoist transformation.
Confucian ideology is presented early in the text as well. In Chapter Six, we see a distant relative coming to the household to seek financial help. Despite their estrangement and lack of contact in recent years, the family is generous and Xi-feng presents Grannie Liu with silver. Here the Confucian filial obligation to family is highlighted. In the Confucian system, such a system of virtuous relationships provides structure and order to an otherwise chaotic society. Xi-feng’s actions demonstrate the importance to which Confucian values were held in this period.
In contrast to Confucian beliefs, which seek understanding through obligation to duty and family, Taoism provides a better platform for personal betterment and spiritual awakening. In the fifth chapter, when Bao-yu is summoned to the Land of Disillusion, his fairy-overseers explain their concern for him, because as they see it, he the last possible chance for redemption of the family. They are concerned that Bao-yu’s sexual curiosity is getting in the way of his studies and...

Find Another Essay On Story of the Stone

The Power of Stone Essay

1089 words - 4 pages precious human.Just because he is an individual, he changes the world. With each birth,life throughout the universe becomes more vital, and with each death, itbecomes weaker. Indeed, each birth can be compared to adding anotherpiece of stone to this enormous mountain called the universe. Whata small stone means to the mountain, a person means to the whole ofhumankind. Even though they both are hardly noticeable, their merit issignificant. So, what can

The History Of Stone Age Essay

868 words - 3 pages Questions you might ask yourself about Stone age. Who makes stone age ? How long stone has been out ? Do they still make it? Etc; There’s a lot of questions you might be thinking and asking yourself about stone age. In this paper I will be discussing the history of stone age. Such as what did their art work look like? What is going on in the culture at the time? How are the pieces of artwork reflections of the time? I will be identify

The Cave of Stone Beauty

1437 words - 6 pages A magnificent array of stone cut sculptures, spectacular detail work and the greatest architectural marvel of its time. Exotic Basalt elephants, dancing dwarves, and superb friezes running parallel to the stone Buddha carved in precision. Depictions of various deities in their abodes and scenes from s India’s epic poetry appear within the stone. Water falls trickle in the spring as ancient river beds fill up and cascade down on top of ancient

The purpose of Stanton Drew Stone Circles

4267 words - 17 pages Stanton Drew Stone Circles The site I am studying is the Stanton Drew stone circles. These are located North East of the village see figures one and two. Stanton Drew is in the South West of Britain around 6 miles south of Bristol. The stones survived from a Neolithic period carbon dated to around 4,000 years ago. The site consists of three stone circles: The Grand Circle, The North East Circle and The South East

The Sword in the Stone of the Arthurian Legend

1756 words - 7 pages The Sword in the Stone of the Arthurian Legend King Arthur and the knights of the round table belong to a long line of books and stories of the Arthurian legend. Merlin, Lancelot, The lady of the lake, King Arthur, and Excaliber are all very important in the Arthurian legend. In this essay we will talk about King Arthur, the knights of the round table, and Merlin in the famous story, The sword in the stone.      The Sword in the stone

The Symbolism of the Stone Angel and Hagar

983 words - 4 pages The stone angel is a symbolism for Hagar Shipley in the form of her character, and the way she displays no emotions, similar to a stone angel. Also, the position of the angel in the cemetery reveals Hagar’s high self-esteem and pride by the towering position of the angel overlooking the town. Moreover, the stone angel’s features represent Hagar in other ways; they include the missing eyes, the hardness of her personality, and Hagar’s lack of

The Character of Marvin Shipley in the Novel Stone Angel

840 words - 3 pages Marvin Shipley is a very interesting character in Margaret Laurence's novel, The Stone Angel. The story is written from the point of view of Hagar Shipley, who is Marvin's mother. We see Marvin as he is portrayed through his mother's eyes. Hagar never loved her son much and it is possible her view of him is bias because of this. In this novel Marvin Shipley is portrayed to us as being timid, reserved, weak and unmannerly.Marvin is a softhearted

The Role of Women in The Stone Diaries

2840 words - 11 pages The Role of Women in The Stone Diaries      Gender inequities have existed since the beginning of time.  The various roles assigned to men and women in society have served to perpetuate differences that even until the present have not been overcome.  These gender differences are evident in The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields.  Initially the main character, Daisy Goodwill, is a pathetic, weak woman whose only joy comes from appreciating the

The Character of Hager Shipley in "The Stone Angel"

878 words - 4 pages In Margaret Laurence's novel, "The Stone Angel", Hagar Shipley is the main character. Born the daughter of Jason Currie, she is one who possesses incredible depth in character. Mingling past and present, we observe the very qualities, which sustained her and deprived her of joy such as her lack of emotional expression. As well, inheriting her father's harsh qualities, she exhibited pride that detested weakness in any form. Despite of her

The Character of Hagar in The Stone Angel

1430 words - 6 pages The Character of Hagar in The Stone Angel Death is a subject that everyone fears because they associate death with their end and not a new beginning. In The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence, Hagar is no different. When she faces the reality of the implications of growing old she is faced with a journey, not one of her choice but one of destiny. Through her journey Hagar goes through the five different stages leading up towards death

The Use of Symbolism in Margaret Laurence's Stone Angel

815 words - 3 pages The Use of Symbolism in Margaret Laurence's Stone Angel The statue of the stone angel is symbolic of the Currie family pride, Hagar's inability to relate and share her emotions, and the blindness and ignorance that comes from constantly refusing to see things from another point of view other than your own. The Stone angel is symbolic of the Currie family pride because it does not seem to serve it's purpose, which is to honour Hagar's

Similar Essays

The Story Of The Stone: The Finding Of Love

1284 words - 6 pages The question of happiness is a question of the ages. There is no way to truly define happiness, only to feel it. Few, if any, can claim to know the true answer to either question. In Cao Xueqin’s The Story of the Stone, many moral lessons are taught. The first of the lessons is not in learning or achieving happiness, but on what happiness is not. The other ideal that Cao Xueqin teaches is how important enlightenment is to personal satisfaction

Short Story Essay Analysis Of "The Stone Boy"

1394 words - 6 pages Gina Berriault's "The Stone Boy", a narrative story, mainly portrays the tragedy committed by a nine-year-old boy, Arnold, who has a big family of six people accidentally kills his older brother, Eugene. This pair of brothers has a pretty good relationship because they just act like typically brothers getting along very well. One night they went duck hunting but all out of blue that Arnold accidentally shoots Eugene with a gun which his father

Analysis Of Bao Yu's Dream In Cao Xueqin's 'story Of The Stone'

3486 words - 14 pages The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin is an animated, lively account of lifein a large Chinese household in the mid-18th century Qing dynasty. Itremains a fascinating novel for modern readers with its vivid and detaileddescriptions of the minutiae of daily life - from clothing, food andinterior design to education, marriage and death.For all its realism however, The Story of the Stone is not set entirely inreality. The very premise of the whole

Stone Cold Story Of A Young Boy Who Leaves Homes Become Homeless In London Streets Class Essay

489 words - 2 pages Introduction Stone Cold Critical Essay Stone cold by Robert Swindell’s is a book about a young boy who leaves home and goes to London to live on the streets, and about an ex-army man with mental problems who wants to get rid of homeless people on the streets of London. In my essay I will discuss how the author uses dual-narrative effectively. I also intend to discuss how Swindell’s makes me feel sympathy towards homeless people and how he makes