Societal Culture from Late Imperial to Contemporary China: As Indirectly Reflected in A Dream of Red Mansions

  • Guorong Ma
  • Mufan Wang
  • Wei WangEmail author


To explore the influence of Chinese culture on various psychological phenomena might start with an adequate understanding of the Chinese culture itself, and a famous novel, A Dream of Red Mansions (DRM) of the seventeenth to eighteenth century China, has provided an ideal vector of it. The core components of Chinese culture expressed in the novel are still influential in contemporary China to a large extent. As one of the Four Classical novels of China, DRM is very informative regarding the Chinese culture, especially those of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, since the themes within the novel ranges from literature, tea culture, festivities, to mythology. Moreover, being long considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature, DRM is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of Chinese fiction. This chapter aims to present the main contents of the novel, offer some brief introductions of the major characters, and more importantly, reflect on the core components of Chinese culture embedded in it. This chapter serves as basis for further discussions (Chapters “ Personality Traits Characterized by the Adjectives in A Dream of Red Mansions” and “ Narrations of Personality Disorders in A Dream of Red Mansions”) on the relationship between Chinese culture, especially that of the late imperial China, and the psychological disorders.


A Dream of Red Mansions Buddhism Confucianism Daoism Societal culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry/School of Public HealthZhejiang University College of MedicineHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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