Life and Death in Shanghai Short Essay - Answer Key

Nien Cheng
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1. Why did Cheng often think back to a few hours before midnight on July 3, 1966?

Cheng was often carried back to a few hours before midnight on July 3, 1966. Not only did she look back with nostalgia on this part of her life spent with her daughter, but, also, they were the last few hours of normal life that she was to enjoy for many years.

2. What was Cheng's job at the Shell Petroleum Company?

At the Shell Petroleum Company, Cheng was the adviser to the general manager. Her job was to help the company to steer clear of the pitfalls that often surrounded a capitalist enterprise maintaining an office in Mao's China. She had to find ways to solve problems without sacrificing Shell's dignity or causing Chinese officials to lose face. She would manage the staff and act as liaison between the general manager and the Shell labor Union. She would also prepare correspondence. If the general manager was gone, she would act as general manager.

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