1. What is the only beautiful object in Pei's childhood home?
Pei's mother has a silk painting with five white birds on it. Three birds are perched on a branch of white blossoms, while the other two are in flight. Pei says it is the most beautiful thing in their house, and even when her eyes are closed she can see it.
2. How does Yu-sung describe Pao's home after she is married?
Pao's home is filthy and smells terrible. There is "night-soil" left in clay pots, rotten food on the table, and spider webs in every crevice. Yu-sung wants to vomit when she first enters the house.
3. Why does Pao decide to send Pei to work in the silk trade?
Pao goes to see a fortune-teller who says that Pei does not have marriage in her future. With the bad harvest, Pao must sacrifice one of his daughters, and he chooses Pei because she seems to have the most spirit in her and be the closest thing he has to a son.
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