The paper attempts to make sense of two radically changed characters in two early sequels to Honglou meng. One is the managerial Daiyu of Hou Honglou meng, the other is the military Baochai of Honglou fumeng. The analysis begins with a comparison to oral literature, especially the genre known as zidishu. It concludes that the likeliest influences lie elsewhere, perhaps in such vernacular novels as Shuihu zhuan and the rhymed prosimetric text Zaisheng yuan. Readerly dissatisfaction with the parent novel certainly also played a role. There are some grounds on which to argue that women readers had input into Baochai's transformation, although the case cannot be made for sure.
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