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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Rice Husband Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What omen told Ying-ying that her husband would die?

2. Where do Lena and Harold live?

3. What do Lena and Harold argue about just before Ying-ying comes to visit?

4. Why did Arnold die?

5. How did Lena and Harold meet?

6. Designing restaurants around a theme made Livotny & Associates very successful. Whose idea was this?

7. In her relationship with Harold, what is Lena afraid of?

8. Why does Harold insist they split expenses 50-50?

9. Why doesn’t Lena eat ice cream?

10. What does the Chinese expression chunwang chihan mean?

Answers
1. A plant her husband had given her died even though she had watered it carefully.

2. They live in Woodside, in a renovated barn on four acres of land.

3. They argue about who should pay for exterminating the cat’s fleas.

4. Arnold died of delayed complications from measles. Lena believed he died because she stopped eating her rice and other foods in hopes of not marrying him.

5. They both worked for Harned Kelley & Davis, an architectural firm.

6. Lena thought of this.

7. Lena is afraid Harold might leave her after seeing all her flaws.

8. Harold claims they will be sure of their love if they keep money out of the relationship.

9. After Arnold died, Lena felt guilty and ate ice cream until she vomited. She never ate it again.

10. Chunwang chihan means literally, “If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold.” Figuratively, it means “one thing is the result of another.”

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