Illustration of the profiles of a young woman and an older woman facting away from each other

The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

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Half and Half Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. How does Rose describe her mother’s skill as housekeeper?

2. What word does An-mei use to describe Ted when she meets him?

3. What nationality does Mrs. Jordan believe Rose is?

4. Describe Rose and Ted’s relationship.

5. What event causes a change in their relationship?

6. What is nengkan?

7. Why doesn’t Bing play with Matthew, Mark, and Luke at the beach?

8. What symbols does An-mei use to try to bring Bing back?

9. How does An-mei react when Rose announces her divorce?

10. What evidence suggests that An-mei never completely abandons hope that Bing will return?

1. Rose says, “My mother is not the best housekeeper in the world.”

2. An-mei calls Ted a waigoren, a foreigner.

3. She thinks Rose is Vietnamese.

4. Rose is all yin and Ted is all yang. Before they are married, she is always “the damsel in distress,” and he is “the knight in shining armor.” After the marriage the pattern continues, with Rose always passive and Ted always making decisions.

5. When Ted loses the malpractice lawsuit, he is the weak one in need of Rose’s support. Rose does not realize this because it has never happened before. He begins to insist she make decisions.

6. Nengkan is the ability to do whatever you put your mind to, absolute self-confidence.

7. The older boys think Bing will ruin their sand castle because he is so much younger.

8. An-mei uses the white leatherette Bible, sweetened tea and a sapphire ring, and an inner tube.

9. An-mei tells Rose to try to save her marriage.

10. First, Bing’s name is written in the Bible so it will be easy to erase. Second, the Bible is very clean, even though it has been on the floor more than 20 years, and An-mei is not the best of housekeepers.

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