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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

On the Gain and Loss of Cultural Connotation behind the Biographical Names of Grassroots in Hong Lou Meng

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DOI: 10.25236/icallh.2020.039


Wenjuan Wei

Corresponding Author

Wenjuan Wei


According to Xu Gongshi, there are 975 people in Hong Lou Meng, including 732 with names and 243 not. Generally speaking, in the feudal hierarchical society, it’s hard for servants - the grassroots to have names. While in Hong Lou Meng, Cao Xueqin endowed biographical names with plentiful culture to them, some are vulgar or elegant; some are simple or complicated; some with gold or silver; some with jade or pendant; some with romantic birds or plants. Though they are grassroots, they are indispensable in Hong Lou Meng. It’s no wonder that Cao Xueqin has shown great respect to them. In the two English versions, Yang Xianyi and Hawkes have implied different methods dealing with these biographical names, which are worth studying


Grassroots in hong lou meng, Translation of biographical names, Gain and loss of cultural connotation