[Originally recorded on 2-18-23]
As #ReadingTheStone enters its final dozen chapters, we find ourselves ruminating over the postlapsarian state of things: the scattering and banishment of most everyone from Grand Prospect Garden, Xifeng's decline and Baochai seemingly being groomed to be the next Xifeng, the ethics of appeasement in a large social structure, and the desultory state of the Jias after Daiyu's death and Baoyu and Baochai's coerced union. We also finally give the paterfamilias Jia Zheng 賈政 his due - and the group has a lively discussion about all things Jia Zheng, and ponder the story from his point of view.
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