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DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)Please use page spoiler warnings too

[ Edited ]
Lets get a few threads started here so we know where we are posting. This is for part II of the book, which is divided into 3 parts. Lets post here for only through part II. Also, if you want to further narrow it down, you can put in your subject heading, the name of the chapter in Part II that you are at for spoilers but in general, anything up to page 198 can be discussed on this thread. I know that some may not be at page 120 for example yet either but want to discuss where they are so it would be a help to put page numbers in your subject message heading too but please no spoilers beyond page 198 here.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-05-2007 09:56 AM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO opening pages, 99-102

This is the start of the second week, so going to move on to some in part II now. Lisa, on the opening pages of this part, starting on page 99, you describe what Peony is experiencing at her death and the rituals and beliefs that she does know about. (oh by the way, may I say, I find the names of your chapters very interesting and fitting too, I hate when books have no chapter titles, only numbers, its hard to know where to go back to find things, so thank you for that!)
We already talked about putting young unmarried women out to die, as we did babies and as she mentions here, which is quiet chilling, I can't stay on that image of the babies but for a moment. She talks about the drapes being torn down, because they they resembled fishing nets and they didnt want her reborn as a fish. I find this detail interesting, more in the fact that they took this care about her afterlife, than what to me seems the more important one of dotting her tablet!
She says they put taro root around her, offered to the dead to ensure future sons and grandsons and that taro is normally carried by the bride to her new home. Is that for the same reason? Does she take it to her new home to ensure SHE bears sons? (basically an offering of fertility for sons, here and by blessings from those in the afterlife?)
And heres one thing that hits me about these two particular things, they take care that she wont be reborn as a fish, BUT DON'T dot her tablet to take care of her IN the afterlife (and I dont care if its not the natal families responsibility at this point lol) when they sure make sure to offer her tarot in hopes that she and the other ancestors will do their part on the other side to insure their family sons! Well how the heck is she going to be in a position to do that, if she is in no "position" in the afterlife that she should be afforded?! I just wanted to growl and say, even now, shes dead, well how nice you dont want her reborn as a fish, but you can ask the ancestors through her for favors while not feeling its your responsibility to honor her and basically leave her to become a "hungry ghost" WA!

I am going to have some issues in part II I warn you now. LOL. You do a great job of writing about it Lisa but some of the things I will be posting to, just really bug the heck out of me! lol. Sometimes, its hard to separate, when you are reading an author new to you, the story or subject matter that you just really dont like, from the author's style, you tend to think that you didnt like both, does that make sense? But with this book, I know your style and how you tell a story is very interesting to me, even if I am having a hard time dealing with the story line. I hope you take that as the compliment I mean it to be. I have read books that, it wasnt the story, that would have been great if the author's style was not all over the place. So as we talk about part II and before one of your established fans jump me LOL if I really want to get into some things here, I want to make that clear :smileyhappy: I have had it happen before and thought I misspoke in a 'fanclub' than in a 'book discussion'. Hey, I read stories about the holocaust and tho I may hate what I am reading, I do appreciate the ability of the writer to take me there or make me feel those things.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO, the soul divided.

[ Edited ]
at the beginning of the second week after her death, the part of the soul that travels to the afterworld reached the "Weighing Bridge". Now this is a scary place, but very interesting and aptly named. After all, don't even we who are Christians believe that after our death, both our good deeds and bad will be weighed against each other in some way? I think most religions have some similar theme on this, which to me means they all stemmed from one in the beginning. But nothing like being ripped apart into pieces and ground into powder and THEN put back together and sent on your way "with an admonition". lol, Ok, i had to laugh a little there and think, gee guy, don't you wish the admonition had been...if you dont do right now, this is what will happen to you, instead of the reverse? hehe. Ok, I know.

Don't you find it interesting that those "weighing" you here, are called demon bureaucrats? Maybe an old feeling about governmental bureaucrats in the earthly realm? Still stuck with them.

Lisa, before I get into some of what goes on after the separating of the soul, may I asked you this, or did I miss it explained already in this part. One part of the soul, goes to the grave with the body, one part goes to the afterlife, one part stays with the DOTTED tablet where it finds rest. Why does one part stay with the body? The other two parts play into the story here but I may have been so caught up in that part that I missed why one part stays with the corpse?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-09-2007 05:26 PM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO. the roles of men vs women, even in the afterlife, general question

Lisa,
As I read this book,something stands out to me and maybe I am missing something but I got to ask. Women's roles are defined from birth in this culture as Peony grows up learning and then comes to realize how limiting that really is, which is why she is in the state she is. I know there are guidelines for men too and expectations but dont need to go into great detail about that here, this is a book about women. What I am wondering tho, as i read part II, women in the afterlife, who are revered there do seem to have power. They have the power to give the blessings of children or not, of sons or not, of good fortune or not. Of course this is limited to those women who were worth something here on earth....get the feeling yet that that part really bugs me?? :smileytongue: ANYWAYYYY, what about the male spirits. In part II, we hear about some who are wicked and what happens to them, some who are not and go on to their rest, but in this culture, do the males in the afterlife have a "job" there? Do they have this same power over things here that the women do? What do they do there?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO opening pages, 99-102



vivico1 wrote:
This is the start of the second week, so going to move on to some in part II now. Lisa, on the opening pages of this part, starting on page 99, you describe what Peony is experiencing at her death and the rituals and beliefs that she does know about. (oh by the way, may I say, I find the names of your chapters very interesting and fitting too, I hate when books have no chapter titles, only numbers, its hard to know where to go back to find things, so thank you for that!)
We already talked about putting young unmarried women out to die, as we did babies and as she mentions here, which is quiet chilling, I can't stay on that image of the babies but for a moment. She talks about the drapes being torn down, because they they resembled fishing nets and they didnt want her reborn as a fish. I find this detail interesting, more in the fact that they took this care about her afterlife, than what to me seems the more important one of dotting her tablet!
She says they put taro root around her, offered to the dead to ensure future sons and grandsons and that taro is normally carried by the bride to her new home. Is that for the same reason? Does she take it to her new home to ensure SHE bears sons? (basically an offering of fertility for sons, here and by blessings from those in the afterlife?)
And heres one thing that hits me about these two particular things, they take care that she wont be reborn as a fish, BUT DON'T dot her tablet to take care of her IN the afterlife (and I dont care if its not the natal families responsibility at this point lol) when they sure make sure to offer her tarot in hopes that she and the other ancestors will do their part on the other side to insure their family sons! Well how the heck is she going to be in a position to do that, if she is in no "position" in the afterlife that she should be afforded?! I just wanted to growl and say, even now, shes dead, well how nice you dont want her reborn as a fish, but you can ask the ancestors through her for favors while not feeling its your responsibility to honor her and basically leave her to become a "hungry ghost" WA!

I am going to have some issues in part II I warn you now. LOL. You do a great job of writing about it Lisa but some of the things I will be posting to, just really bug the heck out of me! lol. Sometimes, its hard to separate, when you are reading an author new to you, the story or subject matter that you just really dont like, from the author's style, you tend to think that you didnt like both, does that make sense? But with this book, I know your style and how you tell a story is very interesting to me, even if I am having a hard time dealing with the story line. I hope you take that as the compliment I mean it to be. I have read books that, it wasnt the story, that would have been great if the author's style was not all over the place. So as we talk about part II and before one of your established fans jump me LOL if I really want to get into some things here, I want to make that clear :smileyhappy: I have had it happen before and thought I misspoke in a 'fanclub' than in a 'book discussion'. Hey, I read stories about the holocaust and tho I may hate what I am reading, I do appreciate the ability of the writer to take me there or make me feel those things.




It seems to me that you're feeling exactly what you're supposed to be feeling: pity, anger, and frustration for Peony. I wanted to take people to a different time and place. It's not my intent to make a value judgement about how those people lived. I just want people to be in the room with them and feel what they're feeling.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO, the soul divided.



vivico1 wrote:
at the beginning of the second week after her death, the part of the soul that travels to the afterworld reached the "Weighing Bridge". Now this is a scary place, but very interesting and aptly named. After all, don't even we who are Christians believe that after our death, both our good deeds and bad will be weighed against each other in some way? I think most religions have some similar theme on this, which to me means they all stemmed from one in the beginning. But nothing like being ripped apart into pieces and ground into powder and THEN put back together and sent on your way "with an admonition". lol, Ok, i had to laugh a little there and think, gee guy, don't you wish the admonition had been...if you dont do right now, this is what will happen to you, instead of the reverse? hehe. Ok, I know.

Don't you find it interesting that those "weighing" you here, are called demon bureaucrats? Maybe an old feeling about governmental bureaucrats in the earthly realm? Still stuck with them.

Lisa, before I get into some of what goes on after the separating of the soul, may I asked you this, or did I miss it explained already in this part. One part of the soul, goes to the grave with the body, one part goes to the afterlife, one part stays with the DOTTED tablet where it finds rest. Why does one part stay with the body? The other two parts play into the story here but I may have been so caught up in that part that I missed why one part stays with the corpse?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-09-2007 05:26 PM




I think a lot of different relions have the concept of being weighed after death. That poor man who's torn apart and then put back together is told that this is what he's going to experience for eternity. It's a preview, if you will.

And yes, the idea of bureaucrats is a true carry over of the frustration that people felt in life about the government, how the world was run, and how powerless they felt at times.

Finally, the Chinese felt that it was a natural thing that one part of the soul would remain with the body. We're connected to our bodies in life. Wouldn't one part want -- need -- to stay with the body? One part goes to the afterworld, where it becomes an ancestor (if everything goes according to plan). The final part comes to rest in the ancestor tablet. This is the part of the soul that keeps an eye on the family. So the result is that you have one part it eternal life, one part with the dead body, and one part still connected to the family in the earthly realm. I think it's an interesting and interestly practical way to look at death.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO, the soul divided.



vivico1 wrote:
at the beginning of the second week after her death, the part of the soul that travels to the afterworld reached the "Weighing Bridge". Now this is a scary place, but very interesting and aptly named. After all, don't even we who are Christians believe that after our death, both our good deeds and bad will be weighed against each other in some way? I think most religions have some similar theme on this, which to me means they all stemmed from one in the beginning. But nothing like being ripped apart into pieces and ground into powder and THEN put back together and sent on your way "with an admonition". lol, Ok, i had to laugh a little there and think, gee guy, don't you wish the admonition had been...if you dont do right now, this is what will happen to you, instead of the reverse? hehe. Ok, I know.

Don't you find it interesting that those "weighing" you here, are called demon bureaucrats? Maybe an old feeling about governmental bureaucrats in the earthly realm? Still stuck with them.

Lisa, before I get into some of what goes on after the separating of the soul, may I asked you this, or did I miss it explained already in this part. One part of the soul, goes to the grave with the body, one part goes to the afterlife, one part stays with the DOTTED tablet where it finds rest. Why does one part stay with the body? The other two parts play into the story here but I may have been so caught up in that part that I missed why one part stays with the corpse?

Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-09-2007 05:26 PM




I think most religions have some variation of the weighing bridge. That poor guy who's torn apart is being given a preview of what's going to happen to him for eternity.

And yes, the idea of bureaucrats is a carry over from the frustration that people felt about the government in life, as well as how powerless they felt.

Finally, the idea of the soul separating into three parts is rather practical. The soul lives in the body, so why shouldn't a portion of it stay with the body in death. One third goes to the afterworld to become an ancestor. The final third resides in the ancestor tablet where it keeps an eye on the family.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO. the roles of men vs women, even in the afterlife, general question



vivico1 wrote:
Lisa,
As I read this book,something stands out to me and maybe I am missing something but I got to ask. Women's roles are defined from birth in this culture as Peony grows up learning and then comes to realize how limiting that really is, which is why she is in the state she is. I know there are guidelines for men too and expectations but dont need to go into great detail about that here, this is a book about women. What I am wondering tho, as i read part II, women in the afterlife, who are revered there do seem to have power. They have the power to give the blessings of children or not, of sons or not, of good fortune or not. Of course this is limited to those women who were worth something here on earth....get the feeling yet that that part really bugs me?? :smileytongue: ANYWAYYYY, what about the male spirits. In part II, we hear about some who are wicked and what happens to them, some who are not and go on to their rest, but in this culture, do the males in the afterlife have a "job" there? Do they have this same power over things here that the women do? What do they do there?




You're exactly right that what you did in life you then do in the afterworld. If you were a farmer in life, you're a farmer in the afterworld, etc. But just as in the earthly realm, men and women are very much separated. That's one reason why Peony doesn't meet many men in the afterworld. The men are out and about doing things. Women are doing what they did on earth -- watching out for the family, thinking about children, etc. Please remember that this takes place in the 17th century. Today in the Chinese afterworld there would be women pilots, executives, gymnasts, etc.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO. the roles of men vs women, even in the afterlife, general question


LisaSee wrote:


Vivico,

You're exactly right that what you did in life you then do in the afterworld. If you were a farmer in life, you're a farmer in the afterworld, etc. But just as in the earthly realm, men and women are very much separated. That's one reason why Peony doesn't meet many men in the afterworld. The men are out and about doing things. Women are doing what they did on earth -- watching out for the family, thinking about children, etc. Please remember that this takes place in the 17th century. Today in the Chinese afterworld there would be women pilots, executives, gymnasts, etc.


Now thats a fascinating idea,that what the modern Chinese woman does today, she would do there, like be a pilot of whatever. Lisa, do they stay in the afterlife? Or is there a later reincarnation back into this world? I mean, if they were afraid of her being reborn as a fish, but then, what I am reading is that they have a job there in the afterlife, do they come back at some point or if something particular happens?

Also, as for the women taking care of the house here and therefore doing it there, having that control to help grant babies, or not, sons, or not, this is actually quite some power for women there to have. Do men in the afterlife have power over the family affairs similar to this? Not just being a farmer there, but lets say, then granting good crops to the family here? I find a bit of irony in the idea that as lacking of control as a woman in this life could have, she could have the greatest power of all there, that of our procreation and all that goes with it, interesting concept for those fortunate to have a good afterlife.

The separating of the soul, well the dividing it up into thirds, is not near anything I have learned before in cultures. Its enough for me to think on my soul leaving my body, for a period of time anyway, but my soul is still whole. This idea of part of my "soul" or spirit being with my body, part with my family in the tablet and part in my realm of the afterlife, I can't quite wrap my brain around. Its like having a split personality or something. I can't in my experience, conceive of my spirit splitting into 3 parts. I guess because I cant conceive of my spirit being anything but one whole part, indivisible, only capable of separating from the body. It truly is a hard concept to grasp.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO opening pages, 99-102

Lisa- In response to your statement, "I wanted to take people to a different time and place"--You have a gift for successfully doing that. We are in the inner chamber , we are at Peony's bedside You brought us there. Now to respond to your statement that you wrote not to " value judgement on how they lived".It got me thinking. Don't you find when you just sit down to read you react differently to the book than when you read a book to discuss it ? Then we tend to disect it and get into areas not intended by the author
Our imagination works over time perhaps but the bottom line is your books not only tell us a wonderful story, they educate and stimulate. Thank you.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)DUTY OF THE DOTTING

In the Separated Soul chapter, everyone is grieving so much that things happen that confuse me. Its Baba's duty to Dot the tablet for Peony and they all get together for it, but is grief is such, that he passes it on to Wu Ren to do it, his grief is such that he runs from the pavillion and has to be comforted. Peony's mama is so grief struck she can hardly move but asks Baba to let her do it and he says yes, still not sure why, and she takes it and does not dot it, but holds onto it and wont let go. Baba leaves her grieving with it to go back to the city. Ren goes home. And with all her grief, mama cant dot it. I dont understand why with the shear magnitude of their grief and the extreme importance of dotting the tablet, no one does! They leave it to someone else and then Shao manages to get it from mama, telling her its Baba's duty and he must but he is already gone and she doesnt know it but gives it up finally and then, the ONE woman who is at least rational enough at the time to know how to get it done, takes it and hides it and says..."Too much trouble for the mistress.........No one wants to see this ugly thing." And thus begins Peony's ghost life. SOMEONE, tell me what just happened here?? Did Shao not like Peony?? She KNOWS the importance of that dot and she says and does this?? Why is this woman doing this to her? In the first part, some of you felt it was the mother's cruelty of locking her up that ultimately killed her. I disagree. I dont think her mother was cruel, traditional yes, cruel no. You really see how much she loved Peony here and even carries some guilt. I will almost let her off the hook on not dotting the tablet herself as she said she would, because I see her curled up weeping and hugging that tablet for so long as her way of not letting go of her daughter and does finally give it up when she believes its to have it dotted. What is the deal with Shao?? THIS is the cruel act to me, not the mother making her stay in her room, thats not what killed her but this, this act and those words are cruel! This is about Peony's eternal life! Her afterlife and Shao knows this. Why has she done this??????
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)No ghost marriage

Lisa,
Other than the responsibility of an ancestor passing to the betrothed family's household, I am not sure of the purpose of a ghost marriage. But given that it seems to be important, mostly what I am getting here is, it is to Peony cause she still wants to be Ren's wife, but given whatever actual importance this seems to have, and in The Separated Soul, Ren is grieving for her and Baba says, you are the one meant for her, you would be a good son in law, why do neither of them speak of a ghost marriage then? Why is it not performed?

The more things I am learning are not in Peony's control about her life, now or after, but left up to someone else, the madder I get, cause no one seems to do ANYTHING they know they should, before she dies to keep her alive or after to ensure her happiness in the afterlife. Not to offend but the further we go, the more i want (to use a southern phrase) to "slap these guys up side the head" and say,whats the matter with all of you! Ya buried her with friggin turnips and tarot roots to help you out but WHO is doing anything to take care of her? Whatever they did with rebellious women who were way too outspoken and went off to do her own thing then, I think that would have been my fate lol.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)Names of places

I find the names of places very interesting in this book. Each pavilion has a name that suits it's purpose and in the afterlife, each place's name does too. We mentioned the "weighing bridge" and how apropos that was for that place each religion seems to have. There is also the Viewing Terrace and I can imagine spirits standing on this terrace in the heavens looking down and watching what is going on down here, either keeping an eye on things, or unfortunately stuck there sometimes where all they can do is watch things happen. There is the Inevitable River, sounds inevitable :smileywink: and then there is also the realm of the Prince of the Wheel, where you are brought before judges who decide your fate. Now how close does that sound to being brought before the Prince of Peace, to be judged and have your fate decided? Like I said, I think the similarities in so many world religions comes from the fact they all started from one religion somewhere. Any of these places of special interest to anyone? Or grab you more than others?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO. the roles of men vs women, even in the afterlife, general question



vivico1 wrote:

LisaSee wrote:


Vivico,

You're exactly right that what you did in life you then do in the afterworld. If you were a farmer in life, you're a farmer in the afterworld, etc. But just as in the earthly realm, men and women are very much separated. That's one reason why Peony doesn't meet many men in the afterworld. The men are out and about doing things. Women are doing what they did on earth -- watching out for the family, thinking about children, etc. Please remember that this takes place in the 17th century. Today in the Chinese afterworld there would be women pilots, executives, gymnasts, etc.


Now thats a fascinating idea,that what the modern Chinese woman does today, she would do there, like be a pilot of whatever. Lisa, do they stay in the afterlife? Or is there a later reincarnation back into this world? I mean, if they were afraid of her being reborn as a fish, but then, what I am reading is that they have a job there in the afterlife, do they come back at some point or if something particular happens?

Also, as for the women taking care of the house here and therefore doing it there, having that control to help grant babies, or not, sons, or not, this is actually quite some power for women there to have. Do men in the afterlife have power over the family affairs similar to this? Not just being a farmer there, but lets say, then granting good crops to the family here? I find a bit of irony in the idea that as lacking of control as a woman in this life could have, she could have the greatest power of all there, that of our procreation and all that goes with it, interesting concept for those fortunate to have a good afterlife.

The separating of the soul, well the dividing it up into thirds, is not near anything I have learned before in cultures. Its enough for me to think on my soul leaving my body, for a period of time anyway, but my soul is still whole. This idea of part of my "soul" or spirit being with my body, part with my family in the tablet and part in my realm of the afterlife, I can't quite wrap my brain around. Its like having a split personality or something. I can't in my experience, conceive of my spirit splitting into 3 parts. I guess because I cant conceive of my spirit being anything but one whole part, indivisible, only capable of separating from the body. It truly is a hard concept to grasp.




Typically, you remain an ancestor for three generations and then are reincarnated.

You're right about what men are in charge of too. The idea of the inner realm being for women and the outer realm being for men holds true in the afterlife. And yes, it's pretty wild that women would have the control over who gets sons.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO opening pages, 99-102



seagate wrote:
Don't you find when you just sit down to read you react differently to the book than when you read a book to discuss it ?




Absolutely!!! But that's one of the interesting things about reading. the experience can be so different at different times in your life or in different circumstance. Just last night my husband and I were talking about Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety. I read that book in my twenties. I loved it, but I knew I was too young to truly appreciate it, because it was about long married couples.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)DUTY OF THE DOTTING

Remember, Vivico, that a daughter belongs to her husband's family only. It's surprising that they were going to dot the tablet at all, because Peony was an unmarried girl. And before you get too upset, remember that there's more to come. The story is being revealed in stages.
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)DUTY OF THE DOTTING


LisaSee wrote:
Remember, Vivico, that a daughter belongs to her husband's family only. It's surprising that they were going to dot the tablet at all, because Peony was an unmarried girl. And before you get too upset, remember that there's more to come. The story is being revealed in stages.


This is true, and I looked all over the place, because I had made a note of where it mentioned this was Baba's duty (tho I remembered you saying that about it being the husband's family's duty) , so I thought this was finally why they were gathering. But even considering since she was unmarried and they didn't have to do this, they were still concerned about getting the help of those in the afterlife and they could only help really, if these rituals were done for their benefit, I think, right? But in any event they all seem to be so upset and grieved including Ren, that I was as surprised as Peony, that while her father was talking to him, he did not bring up a ghost marriage. I wondered why, since from what I am gathering on how it would benefit Peony, wouldnt it then benefit the family to have her tablet dotted and her married in a this way?

I just thought of something else too, maybe you can help me with this one. Its the question I have about Shao's motives for just hiding away the tablet and saying what she did about it. I thought it very cruel, crueler than anything anyone had done yet, considering she would definitely know the importance of it. I could find no motive for this as I said and don't see any more talk about it so far. Lisa, is it then, that since her natal family had no obligation to do this at all for an unmarried daughter, is it then that, its not that Shao has some cruel motive but just finds it bad for the mother to think about, when its not something seen as the family duty anyway? If that is so, I understand why she did it, but it still seems cruel, doesnt it? Maybe not that Shao is cruel for doing it, but that it being so easily dismissed is cruel in itself.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Underworld vs Afterworld

Part II, I find for many reasons very depressing. As it seems, so does Peony. I swear if she didnt have bad luck, she would have no luck at all! Everything seems to work against her, here and there. She says, many call it the underworld but she prefers afterworld. I see it as the underworld for way too many.

I want to ask you guys about one thing here if I may. Someone said to me, if all these girls were raised to believe these things about the afterworld and what it meant for a girl to die an unmarried woman, having no family to take care of here there, why the heck would she want to die for love to get there?? Hey, very valid question. Man I would be so afraid to die all the time if there was no hope for better in the afterworld. What do you guys think about this? Why such a rush to death if you were taught the fate of the unwed dead all your life?? Hardly makes sense does it. The unwed dead, now theres a phrase for ya!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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The Cataclysm, Grandma and Grandfather, the truth

One think I will say I do believe in too. I do believe we will have the chance to see our ancestors again once we die. That family bonds can be forever, but where you go, since we believe in degrees in the spirit world before the second resurrection because not all people are not at the same place in their lives, not all good, not all are bad and we believe in degrees after the resurrection too,(our resurrection, their reincarnation, but i dont want to come back here myself! lol), where you go, you may not be together as family. Dying does not ensure Heaven of any degree. The difference is, tho our resurrection is certain and free, where we goes depends on our "choices" in life, not what fate hands us, not because I am married or not here or am dependant on anyone here for my support there. MY choices here determine my place there. So yeah, i am still going to have problems with the idea of anything in this world controlling me still.

Ok, sorry, to the point of commonality and what I would really like to discuss here, meeting one's ancestors and furthering the story of Grandma. I love that she comes to Peony and I like that she can now tell Peony the truth of the Cataclysm. If you have read that part, starts page 127 and have read about this aspect of what a woman's life was like then, lets talk about it here ok?

It was astounding to me what was expected of women, when the attack came. I can see protecting your children at the cost of your own life but save the husband at whatever cost and these men expected it???? When grandfather says to her,"My mouth wants to go on eating for a few more years. It is good of you to choose death, protect your chastity and save your husband and son." I wanted to scream with her. So ok all you married women, wanna speak up on this one? I am sure you are tired of a single woman ranting so tell me your thoughts on this and what would you have done? Why did she do it, when she despised him for it?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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LisaSee
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Registered: ‎08-24-2007
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Re: DISCUSSIONS FOR PART TWO (PAGE 96 THRU 198)DUTY OF THE DOTTING



vivico1 wrote:

I just thought of something else too, maybe you can help me with this one. Its the question I have about Shao's motives for just hiding away the tablet and saying what she did about it. I thought it very cruel, crueler than anything anyone had done yet, considering she would definitely know the importance of it. I could find no motive for this as I said and don't see any more talk about it so far. Lisa, is it then, that since her natal family had no obligation to do this at all for an unmarried daughter, is it then that, its not that Shao has some cruel motive but just finds it bad for the mother to think about, when its not something seen as the family duty anyway? If that is so, I understand why she did it, but it still seems cruel, doesnt it? Maybe not that Shao is cruel for doing it, but that it being so easily dismissed is cruel in itself.




Shao isn't being cruel. She's trying to help the family by putting away the "ugly thing." In those days, even if an unmarried daughter was lucky enough to get her tablet dotted, then the tablet would still be hidden away -- in a back room or in a special temple. the problem with these special temples is that they were usually where the tablets of prostitutes were kept. So "good" families just hid the tablet, if they bothered to make one at all.
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