China Men Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the purpose for making Tang Ao's capture so easy it could be done by women?

The purpose for making Tang seem gullible is to show how easily fooled China Men were at that time. The easy capture and Tang Ao's initial reaction to it illustrates China Men's underestimation of women. Tang is not on guard around the ladies and he would have winked over his shoulder if there had been male companions watching. Clearly, Chinese men are used to having a higher social status than women.

2. Describe the way the women pierce Tang Ao's ears and what they do to keep the holes open. Include examples of sensory details the author uses in the text.

Two captives sit on Tang to hold him still, bouncing on him when they laugh. The old women use needles blackened by a candle flame. First they pull Tang's ears taut and jab the needle through each ear. The old women poke and probe in order to line up the holes before puncturing both sides of the skin on the earlobe. To keep the holes open, the women first used silk threads, pulling the fibers through the scabs that build up each day. Next, they use gold hoops to make the holes larger. Last, they replace the hoops with jade studs.

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