Iron & Silk Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Mark Salzman
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What rumor did Salzman hear about Zheng's students?

2. What did Pan want to learn from Salzman?

3. Why did Salzman dislike riding the buses in Changsha?

4. Why did the musicians leave the stage halfway through a performance of a mouth harp piece?

5. What did Mr. Gong's youngest son break when Salzman was at the table with him?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was Mark Salzman detained at the train station when he was leaving China after a two-year stay?

2. How did Salzman's class respond to his reading of "The Lottery"?

3. What did Dr. Li teach Salzman?

4. Describe what made Salzman's lecture about the movie character E.T. so successful.

5. How did it come about that Salzman went to China to teach English for two years?

6. Describe the martial artist Pan.

7. Describe the contrasting ambitions of Hai Bin and Salzman.

8. What difficulties did Salzman and his friends have with the China Travel Service while in Canton?

9. How did Old Ding express his desire to be friends with Salzman?

10. Why did Salzman give a gift to Mr. Gong's youngest son?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In what ways was Salzman generous with people during his two years in China? Did he share his time and talents with others? Why was this an important characteristic, especially in the Chinese culture? Provide specific examples of Salzman's generosity.

Essay Topic 2

How was Salzman received in China? How did his students react to having a foreigner as a teacher? Why were some people frightened of him? What was Old Ding's first reaction to him?

Essay Topic 3

What do you learn about Communist China from reading "Iron & Silk"? How does Salzman reflect on the political as well as the personal in this memoir?

(see the answer keys)

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