De Anza College The Short Sto

Read the story that I upload bellow and answer the question.

Write 1 paragraph for each question.

Discussion questions:

  • Describe how the author moves through time in this story. What tools are used? Are the time transitions clunky, or do they feel natural? Use an example to make your point.
  • Choose a moment that is summarized and write it in scene. Do you agree with the author’s choice to summarize, or would a scene have been more effective?
  • Choose a scene and summarize it. Which has more impact?
  • What is the story’s thematic concern? In what way does the title reflect the theme?
  • What characters or objects are symbolic, and what might they symbolize

Respond to 2 of the peers’ writing exercises. 1 paragraph per each.

1. From Jia:”

What characters or objects are symbolic, and what might they symbolize?

I found many things in the story to be symbolic and the most obvious to me was the water symbolizing a new world or a lover. It seems like the author symbolize drowning as first a soul in the water waiting for someone to replace them ( i.e the person who drowns would be replacing a soul who had drowned in the past)

I also think the author personified going to a new world with drowning. The author describes Wen’s daughter’s disappearance as possibly her going to a new world or finding her lover in the water. I think most who read through this story would agree that his daughter likely drowns, but maybe they used symbolic ways of recalling the past tragedy to ease the pain that it caused the family.”

2. From Charles: “

  • What is the story’s thematic concern? In what way does the title reflect the theme?
  • The theme of the story is the connection between water in Chinese culture and Chinese people’s feelings for water. Maybe this may seem a little hard to understand, and I will try to explain it.
    First of all, in Chinese culture, water is the source of all things. Water is so flexible that it can contain everything in the world. For example, when the article describes the Yangtze River, it says “the Chang Jiang runs four thousand and miles, originating in the Himalaya Mountains where it crashes, flecked with gold dust”. Yes, although there is no gold dust in the Himalayas in reality, people who grow up under Chinese culture will still respect it and think it is sacred, so that there is gold dust.
    Second, the article also mentions the soul in the water, that is, the soul of the drowned. In Chinese culture, drowning people are unable to go to hell (different from the hell in western culture, whether you are good or bad, you need to go to hell to accept the judgment, whether you can return to the world and become a new person). They must find a replacement for their souls trapped in the water to cheat the messengers of hell to get the chance to go to hell. So there has that story in the water.
    So far, we can see two things: the good and the bad of water. She is the source of life that breeds all things. In Chinese culture, the Yangtze River is called “mother”, but at the same time, it contains all kinds of dangers. So the title of water depends on how the person is facing the water, which is the way the title “water name” reflects the theme.

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