This week, the class worked to answer questions on the story, "Lingkuan Gorge."
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1. The narrator of this story has a change of mood or outlook.
Describe this change. What causes him to change?
His mood changes from awful and pessimistic to optimistic and full
of energy. Meeting the boy, seeing his responsibilities for his baby
sister and observing the family’s mutual encouragement for one
another has caused this change. Also, the actions of the parents in
their workplace affect him: the mother directing traffic in the
snowstorm; the father placing dynamite charges on a steep slope.
At the beginning of the story, the narrator is angry and fed up;
however, at the end of the story, the narrator feels determined to
continue his journey.
The cause for the narrator’s change of mood is seeing the boy’s
attitude towards work and responsibility. The boy, for example, takes
care of his baby sister as his parents have asked him to do. It is
clear to the reader since he even tells the narrator to be quiet when
he stamps his boots for fear of waking the baby.
2. The story conveys ideas to the reader (theme). Discuss these ideas
and write a one-sentence summary for each one.
Sometimes a younger person, perhaps more innocent and pure, may
influence an older person to change his or her thinking.
It is more effective to teach our children by our actions rather
than our words.
There is a great deal of power in the mind to help a person do a
physical action and continue to complete a task, whether the person
feels exhausted or not.
Often, people will accomplish things purely for personal reasons,
even though other people will not notice their actions.
Some people are able to learn by example. (the boy’s example
helps the narrator to learn)
Taking responsibility can be something even the youngest children
Parents’ attitudes influence their children a great deal.
Family bonds can be strong even in the poorest people.
3. Describe briefly the character of the boy, Cheng-yu.
The boy is persistent, obedient, mature, responsible, patient,
content, brave, smart, and confident. We can see these qualities by
observing his actions: taking good care of his little baby sister
(telling the narrator to stop “stamping” his boots); watching his
parents from the doorway; responding to the narrator’s statements
and so on.
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