Xenocide Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Why does Han-Fei-Tsu make a promise he fears he cannot keep?

Han-Fei-tsu makes this promise as his wife is in her deathbed; he wishes only to please her and he knows that she truly loves the gods. She asks this promise of him to ensure that her daughter will grow up with the same love for the gods that his wife carried until the day she died. He fears he cannot keep this promise because he obeys the gods, but does not love them due to the sufferings he has faced in his life, plus the fresh loss of his beloved wife at such a young age.

2. What is the significance of Han and Qing-jao's paper offerings to Jiang-qing?

Han pledges his body, spirit and soul to her, showing the entirety of his devotion to his late wife. It shows that even though the wound is fresh, he will never again remarry. Qing-jao pledges "fish, book and secrets" to her mother. This shows that all that was good and shared between mother and daughter is preserved. It is not shown why "secrets" was written on the last piece of paper, but it can be assumed that while Qing-jao was young, her mother kept her secrets, and she kept her mother's.

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