|In the studies of The Dream of the Red Chamber, Xue Pan has rarely been noticed. Some critics regard him as a playboy, blaming his misbehaviors and neglecting his unique characteristics, whereas others see him as a clown. Both views ignore the author's great intention behind this character. This paper suggests that as in the case of Jia Bao-yu, Cao Xue-qin also portrays Xue Pan in line with his idea of “naturalness” (shuaizhen). Accordingly the two characters occupy a similar place in the vision of the novel. However, in their attitudes toward affection and desire, Xue and Jia are very different. Cao depicts this difference by invoking the contrast between yang (embodied in Xue) and yin (embodied in Jia), thus presenting an implicit reversal of the traditional qi-based doctrine of human nature which praises yang over yin. Apart from serving as a contrast to other playboys in the novel, Xue Pan also stands in sharp contrast to Xue Bao-chai: while the former is marked by his genuineness toward other people and his warn temperament, the latter is noted for her conformism and cool temperament. Finally, Xue Pan's enlightening experience in the realm of affections (qingwu) offers great illuminations on the unfolding processes of Jia Bao-yu's similar enlightenment. This suggests that Xue indeed assumes a highly significant role in The Dream of the Red Chamber.