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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 275

  • Some of the most memorable passages in the novel occur when Hang describes the effect on her of certain landscapes, including her first sight of snow falling in Russia, and her impressions of Along Bay that immediately follow (chapter 5). Write a paragraph describing the effect on you of a particularly striking scene in nature that you had not seen before. How did it make you feel? Why was it so memorable?
  • As she grows up, Hang rejects many things in her culture and forms her own values. Describe how you have developed your own moral values. How do you decide what you believe in? To what extent has American culture (as found in television, books, movies and music, etc.) influenced or changed your values? In what ways do your values differ from those of your parents? What experiences have been most influential in the formation of your own value system?
  • Research single-parent families in the United States. How many children grow up in single-parent families? Is the head of the household usually the mother or the father? Is the number of such families increasing, when compared to twenty years ago? If it is, why is this so? What are some of the challenges faced by children growing up in single-parent families? What challenges do the parents face?
  • Since the Vietnam war ended, over half a million Vietnamese people have immigrated to the United States. What were the political and economic reasons that led them to leave their native country? What has their experience been in the United States? Where have they mostly settled? What professions have they entered? How have they adapted to American culture?

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