In the eighteenth-century Chinese novel Honglou meng (Dream of the Red Chamber, 红楼梦), the numerous instances of pairing, mirroring, and doubling around the protagonist Jia Bao-yu serve to highlight a philosophical view of mutability grounded in Ying-Yang theory and Daoism, to emphasize the dynamic process of acquiring self-knowledge, and to subvert and problematize dualistic classification (truth/fiction, right/wrong, real/unreal). By considering the significance of the hero’s transformation in this context from the rejected Stone, into the Divine Luminescent Stone-in-Waiting, and then into Jia Bao-yu and his second self, I seek to expose the utopian dimensions of the text grounded in tension between Daoism and Confucianism and exemplified by Jia Bao-yu and Zhen Bao-yu respectively.

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