The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

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Magpies Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do magpies represent?

2. The turtle tells An-mei’s mother to swallow her tears. What was the turtle’s reason?

3. Who is Yan Chang?

4. At first, An-mei is very happy at Wu Tsing’s. What factors contribute to her happiness?

5. An-mei describes the clock in her mother’s room in great detail and says she learned something from it. What did she learn?

6. Why does An-mei’s mother break one of the pearls in the necklace Second Wife gives An-mei?

7. How had Second Wife arranged for An-mei’s mother to become Wu Tsing’s fourth wife?

8. What weakness of Wu Tsing does Second Wife exploit?

9. Who is Syaudi?

10. Why was the timing of An-mei’s mother’s suicide so important?

Answers
1. Magpies are birds of joy.

2. The turtle said one person’s sadness makes another person happy.

3. Yan Chang is An-mei’s mother’s personal servant. She helps take care of An-mei.

4. An-mei is happy because she is with her mother, because she is surrounded by new and amazing things, and because she is living amid great wealth.

5. She learned not to pay attention to meaningless things.

6. An-mei’s mother wants An-mei to see Second Wife as the fraud she is. She does not want An-mei to give her loyalty to the woman who has caused so much pain.

7. First she invited An-mei’s mother for dinner. The next night she invited her to play mah jong and then to stay the night. During the night she left the bed they were sharing and let Wu Tsing in. After he raped An-mei’s mother, Second Wife spread the rumor that An-mei’s mother had seduced him. No one else would have anything to do with her, so she was forced to marry him.

8. Second Wife knows that Wu Tsing is afraid of ghosts. Whenever she pretends...

(The entire section is 480 words.)