Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reading Period 11: November 24-30: Palestine / Syria / Israel

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, by Jan Brueghel the Elder
Class meeting: November 30
Due date: November 29, 7pm

Long Read: 

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, chapters 26-34

Short Read:

Genesis 1-8 from The Holy Bible. This link takes you to the New International Version translation but if you prefer another translation, you can read that instead.


Psalm 19 from The Holy Bible. This link takes you to the King James Version but if you prefer another you can take a look at that too.

Creative Assignment:

The Hebrew psalmists use metaphor to create images and express ideas. Choose one of these verses and create an illustration of the metaphor using colored pencils, markers, paint, crayons, etc:

1. "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul."
2. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
3. "The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?"
4. "The LORD says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.""

Write 300 words projecting what you think will happen after the ending of The Good Earth. What will the sons do with the land? What will happen to Pear Blossom and Lotus? Keep in mind that the communist revolution is coming, and Chairman Mao is going to make some big changes. Will the family be able to hold onto the land and their money?

Writing Assignment:

Does Wang Lung love his wives? Answer this question in 300 words. Consider the word "love" and what it means to us in our western romantic tradition. Does that definition even apply here? What does "love" mean according to the book's portrayal of traditional Chinese life? Does Wang Lung love Lotus? Did he love O Lan? Pear Blossom? Use specific examples of things he did or said in the novel to show that he did or didn't love these three women. This is about your opinion, but also an exercise in finding evidence in the text to support it.


The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark by Jan Brueghel the Elder
The assigned excerpt from the book of Genesis contains the Hebrew flood myth. There are similar flood myths in many cultures around the world. Take a look at a few examples on this page. Write 300 words comparing at least two other flood stories to the Judeo-Christian one you read in Genesis. Why do you think flood stories are common to all mythologies?


You have your peer editing form and your partner's paper. If you need another copy of the form, check out this link. Remember that personal essays are personal, and be respectful of the expression of personal ideas and feelings in the paper. Finish marking up your partner's essay and filling out your form by next class period.


1. Wang Lung gets two coffins on sale. Who are they for?
2. What does Wang Lung like about Liu's daughter when she comes?
3. Why was it a good idea to put the graves on high ground?
4. Why was Wang Lung's house safe from robbing in a time of famine?
5. Why was Wang Lung's uncle and family allowed meat and tobacco when the rest of the household had none?
6. Why did they move Wang Lung's second daughter to the house of her betrothed?
7. What convinces Wang Lung that it's a good idea to move to town?
8. What is Wang Lung's reaction when Cuckoo compares him to the old lord?
9. Wang Lung's third son doesn't want to be a farmer. What does he want?
10. What did Wang Lung's uncle's wife keep beside her bed for comfort when she moved to town?
11. Who invites the soldiers into Wang Lung's house?
12. Who does Wang Lung's cousin call "Old Mistress"?
13. When Wang Lung is giving a slave to marry a farmer, he says he wants to "taste the whole flavor of the strange moment." Why? Why is it strange?
14. What does Wang Lung's youngest son want to go off and do?
15. Which slave does the youngest son find attractive and why is that a problem for Wang Lung?
16. Why does Wang Lung buy poison at the medicine shop?
17. In what house does Wang Lung want to spend his last days?

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