ROLE OF POETRY IN DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER
Institution:Module:Professor:Date: Role of poetry in Dream of the red chamberSummaryThrough the process of closely reading and analysing of the novel story of the stone by David Hawkes, this essay seeks to explore the narratological and structural role of poetry which is based on the original Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber. “Scene”, in literary studies stands for the core structural unit in any literacy form or a means of presentation in the narratives. Other scholars in the field use the term to refer to as the structural unit in any form of narrative. This essay will clearly define the term and use it applicably to analyse the role of poetry in the novel which will aid in coming up with a narratology. When it comes to viewing scene as a structural unit, this essay acknowledges that it stands for unity in terms of the continuity of the activities, characters and space which are unified by a similar topic. “Topic” is very essential as it plays the role of creating a distinction between the scenes. It is also necessary to analyse how there is a transfer from each scene through the analysis of the “scene transitions”. Table of Contents1 Introduction 42 Scene and scene transitions 42.1 Scene 42.1.1 Scene: As a structural unit in drama 42.1.2 Scene: A way of presentation in the narrative 52.1.3 Scene: A structural unit in narrative 52.2 Scene transition 52.2.1 Marked transition 62.2.2 Unmarked transition 62.3 Scene, Plot Chapter and Chapter title. 73 A comparison of both the Honglou Meng and Honglou Meng Chuanqi 74 Conclusion 8References 10
1 IntroductionThis thesis is as a result of the analysis of the aforementioned novel and mainly argues that the notion of “scene” can be used as a form of interpretation of the building block or the structures of the novel. This will be helpful in analysing the role of poem through the study of the structure and the narratology used. Further studies in the field indicates that the concept of scene is very essential in its application to narrative since it means “a form of presentation” which ensures that that narrative is well dramatized. Some critics refer to the term as a “structural unit|” as seen from Patrick Hanan whose argument tries to explain scene as synonym to passages whereby he describes it as both dynamic and close (Cao, 1994). According to Wong Kam-Ming, the events described in the Hung-Lou Meng not only gain a form of cohesion from the temporal order in which they are presented but also the scenes as well as the episodes whereby they are interlinked through the use of juxtaposition of the images in the narrative. It is worth noting that neither of these scholars gave a detailed explanation of the role of scene as used in poetry in a more detailed manner. It is also essential that a comparison be made between the western literary criticism and the traditional/contemporary Chinese literary criticism (Dan, 1987). 2 Scene and scene transitionsHonglou Meng is composed of various scenes which all form a transition between each other which forms the plots. This chapter will discuss the concept of scene. Secondly, how the scenes changes in each chapter. Thirdly, the relationship that exists between chapter, the chapter titles and scene and lastly, how scenes lead to the establishment of the plot (Dan, 1987). 2.1 Scene2.1.1 Scene: As a structural unit in dramaAccording to the oxford dictionary, scene is describes as a representation of the actions taking place at a specific location and time whereby the end or the beginning of the next scene is symbolised by a curtain, darkness or an empty stage. Traditional Chinese poetry in comparison to the western poetry, a play does not usually contain scenes that need classic unities, on the other hand, it needs the “chu/zhe”. It is worth noting that the “chu” and “zhe” are very alike in the sense that they are both sections and turns when viewed from their structural function angle where they create the entre drama. However, some dissimilarities exists between the two (Gu, 2006). Chu originates from the chuanqi while zhe originates from the zaju which are both schools of contemporary Chinese poetry. 2.1.2 Scene: A way of presentation in the narrativeIn as much as scene plays the role of structural unit in a poem, it also acts as a means of presentation of the narrative (Gu, 2006). As described by the oxford dictionary, scene also refers to the dramatic method used in the process of narration whereby events are presented in a similar pace with how they are meant to occur. This makes use of clarity and dialogue as well. This concept of scene was unheard of until the emergence of the modern western narratology in the year 1970. Narrative makes good use of language in the description of the plots as seen in both visual and auditory art. 2.1.3 Scene: A structural unit in narrativeScene can also be used to stand for a structural unit in narrative. This refers to scene as a unit of continuity and transition of the characters, time and the actions which makes it is very essential in creation of the topics. This assumption can be seen in two scenes. However, it is worth noting that in the case where two scenes don’t share a similar topic, then they are two very dissimilar scenes regardless of any changes or not in the characters, time or place (Zhan, 2007). 2.2 Scene transitionScene transition refers to a linkage between two sequential scenes. Scene transition in drama and poetry is very essential since it stands for progression and a smooth transfer. Two scenes can be divided through the use of marked transition as seen mostly in traditional Chinese novels or unmarked transition as seen in modern Chinese novels. Marked transition can be recognised since it uses fixed words or phrases while in unmarked transition, there is no use of fixed words or phrases. Unmarked transition mainly uses the central influence of the text such as a variation in characters, time or place. It refers to the unnoticed transfer of scenes. 2.2.1 Marked transitionA marked transition that is mostly used in the traditional Chinese poetry is “fixed formula” otherwise known as the taoyu. A good example of this is “not until the sentence is completed”, “within a short period” and “next day” among others. It is worth noting that not all marked transitions are used as scene transitions, they can also be used to indicate the end or the beginning of a chapter. A good example in Dream of the red chamber is seen where the author makes use of “huashuo” which stands for “what the story says” or “qieshuo”. This two have been used to indicate a conjunction between two chapters. Other fixed formula are seen at the end of the chapters and within the chapters such as “do not know what is going to happen” (Cao, 1994). In the novel, the fixed formula that acts as a scene transition are “yiyu weiliao/ hua you weiliao and qieshuo”.2.2.2 Unmarked transitionAside from marked transitions, there is also the use of unmarked transitions. They are mostly used in novels to build scenes. This works is two ways, first, it is used when the elements in the novel are unspecified and therefore any slight modification is indicated by the scene transition. Secondly, it is used when the elements are specific and therefore any modification functions as unmarked transition. In the novel under study, the characters seen to have unmarked transition have the following characteristics (Cao, 1994),It is cindered to be specific and not repeated. A good example in the scene is seen where one character, Jia Lian, arrives and therefore, this works as a scene transition. The second example is seen in the arrival of Lady Wang. After the characters in the novel have led to the transfer of the scene, they move forward to the next scene. Therefore, entering to the next scene functions as means of transferring scenes.They are seen in the masters as well as the mistresses of Rong and Ning-House. They are also recognized in the important individuals such as from skybright. A good example is Jia Lian and Lady Wand in the transition between scene 1 and 2 and finally YOU-Shi in scene 5 and 6. 2.3 Scene, Plot Chapter and Chapter title.To begin with, chapter a chapter title are the pillars parts of traditional Chinese novels. They are the necessary characteristics that distinguishes themselves from other literary genres. It is the essential to look into the relationship between scene, chapter and chapter title. Since it influences the formation of plot of the traditional Chinese novel.Every chapter corresponds to the plot development, by creating and organizing scenes in specific order of substance. In addition to that, chapter title to some extent reduces linearity of the plot by implying to scenes and episodes which composes the characters instead of the plot stand out. It is also important to note that the study of plot is composed of mixed up content that one cannot exploit while fully discussing the details of the chapter (Dan, 1987).Thus, the discussion of the relationship between scene, chapter, chapter title influences plot formation. The outstanding importance of the chapter and chapter title is that it distinguishes itself from other literary genres.Secondly, the importance of researching on the relationship between scene, chapter and chapter title, is to find how scenes builds up chapter and to know how it influences plot in every chapter. Each chapter is built up by many scenes and episodes according to the order of its importance. This helps the development of plots hence avoiding plenty of mixed up and confused points to the reader thus creating effectiveness of the message that the reader gets (Dan, 1987).In conjunction to that, the relationship between the scene, chapter title and plot is that, the chapter title mostly summarize the plot of each chapter and thus implying the scene by installing and placing names and titles in the adverbial modifier position. Hence this reduces plainness of the plot and highlight characters and their role in different places of the plot.
Chapter and chapter tittle in Traditional Chinese novels.This entails ways of subdividing chapters and creating chapter titles which are essential in the overall plot and microstructure of the whole Traditional Chinese novel. Traditional Chinese novel is the fiction in the chapter. It is believed that the use of Zhangui xioshuo illustrates the importance of chapter sectioning. Although this is not a good reason that can distinguish this novel from other genes because Western full length novels are written in chapters. An example of it being, Alexander Dumas” The Three Musketeers.”Liu xiaojun one of the writer’s contribution states that the following rules should not miss in the xiaoshuo characteristics. He says that, it Should be full-length for it to be complete, each chapter should contain chapter title which summarizes the whole story in the corresponding chapter, it should have at least one main plot that lasts till the end of the novel and it should be unitary no matter the number of events or characters an lastly, vernacular language should be used in the novel instead of the literal records of oral storytelling but should have a trace of the oral story telling (Gu, 2006). Novels can be distinguished because history whereby classical Chinese novels are written in classical Chinese instead of vernacular language.Sanguozhi yanyi is one of the novel that it is assumed to be an example of Zhangui Xiaoshuo because of the language that is used. It is also written in mixed languages both vernacular and classical is used. There is also a relationship between the style an context mix, it is principal stylistic variable that depends on the context and vernacular is used in close-up narrative more so in dialogue which points on homely an earthly force that are suitable.The second and third rules speaks about the characteristics of the chapter and chapter title which is the key topic in the thesis. The division of chapters and chapter title in traditional Chinese novel is regular, refined and antithetical. The difference between chapter an chapter title in Traditional Chinese novel and Western novel no longer use complete chapter title but uses simplified chapter titles that includes indicating phrases and words. The usage of chapter titles is mostly influenced by the author preferences. The arrangement of chapters in Chinese novels has allegorical meaning. Plaks depicts that the division into Hui units should be considered since modern scholarship shows the chang-hui form phenomenon in the development of Ming fiction before time fictional narrative.In addition to that, the Chinese chapter titles are so different from Western novel chapter title of composition. Traditional chapter novels are written in regular sentences that sum up the plot and corresponding chapter, chapter title in Western novel indicates summarized part of the topic are always regular (Zhan, 2007). Meaning that they are constructed and formed by the by the same number of English words or Chinese characters in a novel while the irregular ones are not formed by the same number of English words or either Chinese character novel.
3 A comparison of both the Honglou Meng and Honglou Meng ChuanqiIt is essential to make a comparison between the Honglou meng and the Honglou meng chuanqi. This is attributed to the fact the dissimilarity in the terminology of scene. The concept of scene can be described to emanate from drama and therefore, due to the fact that the Honglou meng is a scenic narrative, it uses the term so as to bring about a more dramatic effect. This is done so as to make the story more vivid. A scenic description that is considered to be very essential in the Honglou meng is the use of dialogue. Moreover, in the Honglou meng Chuanqi, there is an extensive use of Chu and of jianyuan which is very essential in making a comparison with other corresponding chapter 74 in the Honglou meng (Cao, 1994). Chu is referred to as the core structural unit in Chuanqi play. This can be termed as a part of a cub-plot that is centred on a similar song set otherwise known as the taoqu. This therefore means that the song set is very essential in differentiating the Chu. When a comparison between the term Chu and scene is made in the novel, it is safe to conclude that the term Chu is similar to a single scene unit in the narrative. A good example is seen in the “chu” of “souyuan” in the Honglou meng Chuanqi which indicates a part of the sub plots that have a similar song set. This is equal to the multi-scene unit 1 beginning from scene 1 to 5, chapter 74 of the Honglou meng. This is seen to be established on the same topic known as “raiding the Great View Garden while the other scene (6), concerns to a very dissimilar topic “breaking off the relations with Ning-guo house (Cao, 1994). It is worth noting that the “chu” in traditional Chinese drama can also comprise of many scenes. What is known to be the defining character in this case is he song set. However, in a similar song set, the scenes sometimes have a different “gongdiao”. A good example of this is seen in the “chu” and the “jianyuan” which comprise of a total of 5 scenes. The use of dialogue is very essential since they are used to organise the stories. 4 ConclusionThis thesis makes use of the structural analysis of Honglou meng. This is used to define “scene” as well as the different types of the word and the transitions. All this is very useful to explore the narratological and structural role of poetry in the novel. Contemporary Chinese dramas are often taken as “consecutive drama” or otherwise known as the “lianchang xi”. These scenes are seen to have very minimal time frame as well as the necessary space to make a transfer from one to another. This therefore means that they depend on both the entrance and the exit of the characters in the drama in comparison to the use of curtain. Scene as used as a means of presentation in the narrative signifies a dramatic way f narration whereby many descriptions of the dialogue between characters as well as their actions is used. An analysis of scene transitions has also been done which makes a close reference to chapter 74 of the Honglou meng. This makes a conclusions pertaining to the two types of scene transitions used in the novel, the marked transition and the unmarked transitions. Marked transition is referred to as economical in the use of words. However, it has a major weakness which leads to the disruption of the flow of ongoing plots. There was also a comparison between the Honglou Meng and the Honglou meng Chuanqi. The reason for this is that the word “scene” is derived from drama. In the Honglou meng, topic are very useful since they act as a way of distinguishing scenes. However, in Honglou meng Chuanqi, the song set is what acts as a distinguishing factor between the scenes. Moreover, the Honglou meng makes use of dialogue which is considered to be very alike to narration in the contemporary Chinese drama. References,Cao, X. (1994). Honglou meng: A Dream of Red Chamber. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. Dan, S. (1987). Literary Stylistics and Translation- With Close Reference to English Translations of Chinese Prose Fiction. University of Edinburgh.Gu, M. (2006). Chinese Theories of Fiction: A Non-Western Narrative System. Albany: State University of New York Press. Zhan, H. (2007). Tea in the Story of the Stone: Meaning and Function. ICU Comparative Culture