Friday, September 19, 2008

Qin Keqing

Qin Keqing is a major character in Dream of the Red Chamber. She is the wife of Jia Rong, Cavaliar of the Imperial Guards and Baoyu's nephew from the Ningguo House. Therefore, Keqing is Baoyu's niece-in-law. Keqing is generally called Qin Shi in the Ningguo House. When Baoyu visited the Ningguo House in Chapter 7 and got tired, Keqing let him sleep in her fabulous room. Apparently a very beautiful and flirtatious woman, Keqing grew ill and died in Chapter 12. Some say that she died because she had had sexual relations with her father-in-law and was scared they had been discovered. After her death, Keqing appeared one more time in a dream and warned Wang Xifeng about the current decline of the Jia family, and gave her a procedure to take in order to save the Jias from unrecoverable ruin.

Keqing's younger brother, Qin Zhong, is Baoyu's best friend.


Ping'er is a major character in the novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is Wang Xifeng's chief maid and personal assistant/consultant. Being the chief consultant of the household manager, Ping'er wields considerable power in the Jia household. Always kind and caring, she turns big dillemas into little, solvable problems. She does so with grace and respected by most other servants. She is the cause of many fights between her mistress and master.

Nevertheless, she is loved greatly by them, too. The novel portrays Ping'er as a pretty and sweet girl. When Xifeng's daughter Jia Qiaojie is left motherless after Xifeng's death, Ping'er arranges the plan for Granny Liu to hide Qiaojie in her village, and accompanied Qiaojie to Granny Liu's home. She eventually becomes Jia Lian's wife.

Lin Daiyu

Lin Daiyu , also spelled Lin Tai-yu, is one of the principal characters of Cao Xueqin's classic Chinese novel ''Dream of the Red Chamber''. She is a well-educated and intelligent young woman who is portrayed in a highly sympathetic light. The romance between Daiyu and Jia Baoyu forms one of the main threads of the book and in many readers' eyes, Lin Daiyu is the book's leading lady.

Daiyu is an emotional girl, prone to mood swings. She is described as having been sickly and prone to illness since childhood; indeed, when she is first introduced, a couplet describes her "with a heart like Bi Gan's, yet even more intelligent; and with an illness like , yet even more beautiful". Daiyu Her character contrasts that of Baoyu's other cousin, Xue Baochai. Indeed, it has been suggested that the two women are complements of one another - each has exactly the attributes of Cao Xueqin's ideal woman which the other lacks. Baoyu's maid Skybright is often considered to be Daiyu's "double," in that they have similar temperaments and a similar "ethereal" beauty.

Daiyu's emotional tirades make sense in the context of the supernatural. It is strongly suggested that Daiyu is a reincarnated Crimson Pearl Flower that through good care by a spirit in the heavens was imbued with life. In exchange for this gift, the Vermillion Pearl vowed to be reincarnated as a human, and pay back her caregiver in the form of as many tears as a girl may weep in a lifetime. Born to a Soochow scholar-official, Lin Ruhai, and Lady Jia Min of Rongguo, a Jia Clan branch in Beijing, she was raised by her parents in her family's mansion in nearby Yangchow, where she gets an excellent education. During her childhood, a monk once proposed to take her away as a sacrifice to save her from a tragic fate. This was of course, rejected.

The crater Tai-yu on asteroid 433 Eros was named after her.

Li Wan

Li Wan is the name of one of principal characters of the Chinese classic novel ''Dream of the Red Chamber''. She is the young widow of Jia Baoyu's elder brother Jia Zhu . She has a son named Jia Lan . Only in her late twenties,her primary task besides raising Lan is to watch over her younger cousins Lin Daiyu, Xue Baochai, the three Springs, Shi Xiangyun, and Jia Baoyu.

Lady Wang

Lady Wang is a primary character in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is the wife of Jia Zheng, and mother of Jia Zhu, Jia Yuanchun and Jia Baoyu.She is a kind lady.

Jia Zheng

Jia Zheng is a major character in Dream of the Red Chamber. He is Baoyu's father and assistant minister in one of the Chinese political ministries. He is also a strict disciplinarian and Confucian scholar. Zheng is the head of the Rongguo Mansion. He is a worrisome father.

Jia Yuanchun

Jia Yuanchun is a primary character in the classic Chinese novel ''Dream of the Red Chamber''. She is Baoyu's elder sister by about ten years older . Yuanchun was the lady-in-waiting in the Imperial palace first, then, becomes an Imperial Consort. At the end of the novel, Yuanchun's sudden death precipitated the fall of the Jia family; some say Yuanchun died of palace intrigue, the result of political forces moving against the Jia family.

Yuanchun's name translates as "Cardinal Spring". She is the eldest in the quartet of "Springs" Therefore, the way she was named set the pattern for the naming of the other 3. Like Baoyu, she had a remarkable birth. She was born on Chinese New Year's Day and during the springtime. Yuanchun is also the daughter of Minister Jia Zheng and Lady Wang, younger sister-in-law to Li Wan, and elder cousin to Lin Daiyu, Xue Baochai, and others.