The Three-Body Problem Short Essay - Answer Key

Cixin Liu
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1. Describe the narrative style in The Three-Body Problem. Does the narrative style change in the course of the novel?

The narrative of The Three-Body Problem is related from a third-person narrator with an omniscient perspective. The narrative style does not change considerably when describing either the events in the present-tense storyline or the past-tense storyline.

2. When did the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution take place? Why is it important in The Three-Body Problem?

The Cultural Revolution took place from 1966 until 1976 and had the goal of preserving Communist ideology. Academics and intellectuals were purged from main society and in this novel, Ye Wenjie's father is one of the professors who is killed.

3. What is revealed in the "Translator's Notes" in Chapter 1, "The Madness Years"?

The "Translator's Notes" in this chapter relate the reader to aspects of Chinese society that a Western reader might not be familiar. These include notes regarding the term "Gods and Monsters" from Buddhist teachings and the impacts of the Cultural Revolution.

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