Six Records of a Floating Life Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Shen Fu
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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. Shen Fu imagines _________ flying through trees and mountains when he is lying the grass as a child.

2. What did Shen Fu try to sell when his wife was ill and they needed to buy her medicine, though this venture was unsuccessful?

3. During the later part of what century was Shen Fu born, according to the introduction of the book?

4. What did Shen Fu use when he didn't have any pieces of stone to put around his narcissi?

5. The goal of many of Shen Fu's arrangement techniques is to make the plant look as though it had been grown from the _________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens in the incident with the earthworm and Shen Fu when he is a child?

2. What did Yun's family laugh at her for which made her sheepish in the days leading up to her wedding with Shen Yu?

3. What does Shen Fu tells his parents about Yun when they meet as cousins when he is thirteen-years-old?

4. What is the advice that Yun gives to Shen Fu about painting insects as a part of his artistic endeavors?

5. Why does Shen Fu take up so much time talking about the arrangement of pots and cases? What is he trying to do for the plants?

6. What is the job that Shen Fu takes on within the government, as a result of his education?

7. What else did Yun teach herself to do, according to the description from Shen Fu in the story?

8. What does Shen Fu's education prepare him to be, which is a disappointment to his family as the reader learns in the story?

9. What does Shen Fu describe doing when he was a child when he was lying on the grass?

10. Why do Shen Fu and Yun want to be reincarnated to be with each other in their next life? What do they hope to achieve?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While this is a section about the simplest of pleasures, Shen Fu uses a lot of descriptions in order to be clear about what his pleasures are.

Part 1: Why do you think Shen Fu felt the need to be so technical in the way that he writes?

Part 2: Do you think the pleasures of Shen Fu are simple since they are so difficult to describe and to understand?

Part 3: How do you think a simple pleasure should be described? Can you describe one of your own?

Essay Topic 2

The family dynamics for Shen Fu and Yun are played out in the many ways the family mocks them and disowns them for trying to be happy.

Part 1: Why do you think it's so common for families to be the worst critics of their own children?

Part 2: How do you think you would handle so much criticism from your own family?

Part 3: Do you think that Shen Fu and Yun should have simply listened to their families? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

At times, Shen Fu feels guilty for having more fun blowing up bamboo than seeing the historical sites in the area.

Part 1: Do you think it's important to visit all of the historical sites in an area?

Part 2: Why do you think Shen Fu feels guilty for wanting to do something else?

Part 3: How do you think he might have been able to balance other activities with exploring history as well?

(see the answer keys)

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