Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SG ~ third set of DQs

1.  This is how Pearl sees emotional abuse.  Do you agree with her?
"People say you need to be strong, smart, and lucky to survive hard times, war, a natural disaster, or physical torture.  But I say emotional abuse — anxiety, fear, guilt, and degradation — is far worse and much harder to survive.  This is the first time that May and I have ever experienced anything like this, and it saps our energy" (p. 43)
2.  Pearl is a Dragon, and May is a Sheep.  Do you thik the two sisters are true to their birth signs in their actions in the novel?

3.  Which sister is smarter?  Which is more beautiful?

4.  Each sister believes that her parents loved the other sister more.  Who is right about this?  Why?

5.  How would you describe the relationship between Pearl and May?  How does the fact that both are, in a sense, Joy's mother affect their relationship toward each other?  Who loves Joy more and how does she show it?

6.  There are times when it seems like outside forces conspire against Pearl -- leaving China, working in the restaurant, not finding a job after the war, and taking care of Vern.  How much of what happens to Pearl is a product of her own choices?

NOTE:  Has everybuddy finished reading the book?  If so, go ahead and talk about the whole novel.


alisonwonderland said...

My June has been incredibly hectic, especially the past two weeks. But I'm back to reading Shangai Girls and hope to post some more of my thoughts soon.

Like Pearl, I'm a Dragon, and I'm feeling a connection to her.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

You are?! I'm also a dragon. I knew I liked you, Alison! And I, too, felt connected to Pearl. It was harder for me to connect to May, but that may also be attributed to the fact that Pearl narrates the book. That means we get everything from her point of view.

Shirley said...

I finished the book (library due date pressure).
1. I think emotional abuse is worse because the victim suffers alone rather than sharing the misery with others.
2. For some of the book, May became a dragon. I guess I should do a google to find out what I am, but doubt that I get around to it.
3. Pearl appears to be smarter, but May may be smarter than she lets on. May is also supposed to be more beautiful.
5. I think that the sisters loved each other deeply, but each felt the other had more advantages. Joy was a tie that brought them together even closer. Each sister loved Joy albeit in a different way--Pearl loved Joy like a mother and May was more like a cherished aunt.
6. The hard times inflicted on Pearl seemed to be caused by external factors rather than her own choices. Whether she could have fought harder to be more independent is debatable given the culture that she lived in.