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The Joy Luck Club The Twenty-six Malignant Gates

  1. Why is the game of chess a good metaphor in “The Rules of the Game
  2. What is Lena saying about her mother in the following passage? In what way is Yingying similar to An-mei’s mother from the story, Scar? “Because, even as a young child, I could sense the unspoken terrors that surrounded our house, the ones that chased my mother until she hid in a secret dark corner of her mind. And still they found her. I watched, over the years, as they devoured her, piece by piece, until she disappeared and became a ghost.
  3. How does the following excerpt from the story relate both to Bing’s death and to Rose’s impending divorce? What generalization about life does it teach? “I think about Bing, how I knew he was in danger, how I let it happen. I think about my marriage, how I had seen the signs, really I had. But I just let it happen. And I think now that fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention. But somehow, when you lose something you love, faith takes over. You have to pay attention to what you lost. You have to undo the expectation.”


4. Why is it significant that Bing’s name is written in the Bible in erasable pencil?

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5. Why is it significant that the song Jing-Mei refuses to memorize has two parts, one called “Pleading Child” and the other called “Perfectly Contented”? Remember that one of the themes in this novel is the inability of mothers and daughters to communicate with each other.