A Thousand Years of Good Prayers - Death Is Not a Bad Joke If Told the Right Way Summary & Analysis

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Summary

“Death Is Not a Bad Joke If Told the Right Way” opens on the unnamed, seven-year-old narrator in Beijing, during the winter of 1979, wishing that her life were that of romanticized orphanhood. She is staying with the Pangs, who lost their wealth and social status during the Cultural Revolution, and is naïve to the innuendos the four sons of the Songs, the Pangs’ next-door neighbors, yell at her. By playing with other young girls near the Pangs’ home, the narrator realizes that living in the Institute, where the families of those who work for the Department of Nuclear Industry live, has isolated her and kept her ignorant of many things. The narrator and Mrs. Pang speak about the difficulties of employment; the Song boys are all unemployed “to-be-placed youths” because there is a...

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This section contains 1,474 words
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Buy the A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Study Guide
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