|Statue of Cao Xuequin in Beijing|
What functions does this elaborate frame (which I have greatly abbreviated and related in reverse) serve? How does it shape or guide your reading of the narrative of more ordinary human life that follows?
You don't have to stick to my boiled-down version above in your response--feel free to discuss other details, twists, and significant features of the novel's opening!
Deadline: Monday (2/14), start of class.