Diary of a Madman, Sinking, Spring Silkworms

Diary of a Madman, Sinking, Spring Silkworms.

Diary of a Madman, Sinking, Spring Silkworms

Choose TWO stories among the following (Diary of a Madman, Sinking, Spring Silkworms, An Old and Established Name, Young Master Gets His Tonic, Hands, Xiaoxiao, When I Was in Xia Village, Sealed Off) and explain what you’ve learned from reading them about what life in China was like between 1911 and 1949.  Use one direct quotation from each stories, cited by author and page number, to make your points. Be sure to contextualize these quotations clearly: briefly summarize the story, identify the speaker, and do not confuse the author with his or her characters.  Possible topics to focus on include (but are not limited to) the following:

The gap between rich and poor people in China

The rights of women

The gap between rural and urban people

Tradition and modernity

Confucian morality and modern morality

Regional differences

Literature with a political purpose vs. “literature for its own sake”

Foreign influences on China

These topics do overlap, but please don’t try to cover ALL of them in your paper!  They’re suggestions to help you rather than a list of requirements to check off.

Think first about choosing two stories that you like that have some common themes, and let your paper grow naturally out of the stories you choose.

PLEASE GIVE YOUR PAPER A MEANINGFUL TITLE (not “Paper #1).  Make sure that your paper has an argument and a clear paragraph structure. I grade papers for accuracy of content, logical organization and argument, careful use and citation of source materials, and careful editing.  Any paper you give me should be at least a second draft.  I will accept written work up to a week late, but you will lose a full letter grade if your paper is late.

This is a response paper, not a research paper. Do not quote or use secondary sources. Your papers should consist of your own reactions to the course materials. This course is designed so that you do not need to use materials beyond those assigned, which can therefore be cited very briefly (author and title of the story and page number of the quotations.) The only item in the bibliography should be the Lau and Goldblatt anthology.


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Diary of a Madman, Sinking, Spring Silkworms

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