The Joy Luck Club Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. A Chinese Santa Claus asked Waverly ______________________________________.

2. The only father An-Mei knows is ___________________.

3. In Chinese culture, respect for one's ancestors is called ___________.

4. The Hsus find that their Chinese relatives do not want American gifts, but prefer ____________.

5. The woman transported the swan ____________________________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Jing-Mei satisfied to hit the wrong notes on the piano?

2. The parable is obviously based on a current-day story in which one of the mothers in the book tries to warn her daughter of her superstitions. Discuss other instances in the book up until this point where mothers feel they know so much more than their daughters.

3. Discuss how it is that the Italian girl next door provides a sense of peace for Lena.

4. The woman wishes for a daughter just like herself, but there are some caveats. Discuss the things she does not want for her daughter.

5. Waverly Place Jong is named after the street she lives on in San Francisco. Discuss other instances where children are named after localities, ideas or unusual things.

6. The imagery of the woman fluttering her arms when the swan is taken from her is sad. What does it imply?

7. Discuss the unusual circumstances under which Lena lives.

8. Why might it be that Jing-Mei continues to be a failure?

9. Discuss the "scar" reference. How did it happen and why?

10. Jing-Mei Woo's mother has great expectations of her daughter. Why is she like this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on Chinese festivals and annual rituals, their origins, their meanings, whether they are still practiced. Can any of them be compared to certain beliefs and practices in the United States? If so, contrast and compare.

Essay Topic 2

The four Chinese women who become friends in America meet in a Chinese Baptist church, which they were attending for practical reasons. What possible connections could Christianity have to their earlier religious beliefs in China? Did they all eventually accept Christianity over their old religion?

Essay Topic 3

Do a thorough re-read of The Joy Luck Club and scan for recurring devices that make the story come alive. They are subtle, but you will notice that Amy Tan meticulously plants them in the right places to give her story consistency and to give her readers a real sense of her culture. One example is how she uses "smells" throughout the story - the smells from the sewer in Kweilin, Lindo learning to smell the toilets to be sure they were clean and being able to detect the amount of salt in a soup by its smell, the cat putting a stink on Suyuan's door, the smelly crab -- these are just a few instances.

(see the answer keys)

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