Xue Baochai is one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling (refers to the twelve excellent ladies) in the book of The Dream of Red Mansions. She is a beautiful and elegant lady, who is eager for official career.
Xue Baochai is the daughter of Aunt Xue, the sister of Ms. Wang. She gets on well with everybody in the family of Jia. Being well educated, she possesses profound aesthetic accomplishments and has a wide range of knowledge of literature, art, history and medicine.
In the book, Jia Baoyu was forced to marry her under the arrangement of his mother and grandma. However, they two did not have same interests and Jia Baoyu could not forget his true love Lin Daiyu. In the end, he left his family and became a monk. Xue had to stay alone and have a gnawing regret for her life.
The writer depicts her as the typical fair woman in feudal society. She strictly adheres to the feudal rules and faithfully embraces feudal ethics, especially the slave morality imposed on women by the society. She persuades Jia Baoyu many times to throw himself into feudal official career. But Jia Baoyu isn’t interested in it.
As a woman in feudal society, she even can not control her fate. On one hand, she lives a luxury and privilege life in her family; on the other hand, she always lives a life under the oppression of feudal ethics.
The writer has a complicated feeling about her. He shows sympathy towards her but also criticizes her for she faithfully embraces feudal ethics. The writer wants to show us a lady who is beautiful, wisdom and elegant but is deeply poisoned by the feudal ethics. The contradictions achieve unification and harmony on her. That is the basic feature of Xue. And her misfortune is also the tragedy of a martyr.
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