Departmental Bulletin Paper 『紅楼夢』における「無用の用」 : 第二十二回所引『荘子』列禦寇篇及び人間世篇を中心に
Use of Uselessness in the Dream of the Red Chamber : Lieyukou-pian and Renjianshi-pian Section of “Zhuangzi”, Chapter 22

王, 竹

In Chapter 22 of the Dream of the Red Chamber, by analizing the quotedLieyukou-pian and Renjianshi-pian section of Zhuangzi, we can find the heroJia Bao-yu holds the idea of “useless is useful”. The assessment of the quotedsection of Zhuangzi here shows clearly that “useful” can sometimes causeharm to us while “useless” can bring us freedom and health.In the assessment of this chapter, it gives the example of six persons of thisnovel with very useful ability who should be usually respective, all are driveninsane by their advantages. Besides the six person listed, there are many othersimilar examples which make us know the fact that useless is sometimes useful,and useful is sometimes useless. The writer of this novel shares the ideawith Zhuangzi.The idea of “the use of uselessness” can also been seen in many other partsof the novel. In Chapter 1, the novel begins with a useless stone which is giventhe chance of becoming the hero of Baoyu, meaning a precious stone. In chapter77, Baoyu says the fate of Qinwen is like this: good strong trees are usuallycut for use and easily burning material is always firstly used for burning. Thisalso shows the idea that being useful can sometimes be harmful.No matter how the writer shows the facts of “the use of uselessness” hereand there in the novel, he does not mean to praise “uselessness”. “Useful cansometimes be useless” is another fact that exists the same time with “uselesscan sometimes be useful”, we should learn from the despairing fact of theunjust society at that time and live with a balanced use of uselessness.

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