Vocab for April 1: sprawled (p.26), groggy (p.26),rummaged (p.27)
Compare Beijing with Toronto (p. 13, 19).
Identify each of the following
What is Eddie Nowlan’s initial reaction to Alex
?Why do you think he reacts this
What is Alex’s Chinese name?Who gives it to him?What does it mean?
What is the Forbidden City? (2 points)
What square is located in the
Vocab for April 4: scruffy (p.29), tweed (p.29), crummy
1.Describe the menu of Alex’s first official Chinese
meal.What is Alex’s first reaction
to his meal?What is his later
do Alex and Lao Xu have in common?
eating custom exists in China?How does this custom differ from that of
Vocab for April 6: feat (p.35), amateur (p.37), atheist
(p.39), dossier (p.42)
Name two things that excite Alex at the beginning
of this journal entry.
Identify the PLA.According to Lao Xu, how do the
Chinese people regard the PLA?Why?
In this journal entry, we learn much more about Lao
Xu.List at least four new facts
about Lao Xu.
How does Alex’s opinion of Lao Xu change?What begins to bother him about his
new friend?How does Dad help
Alex to resolve this dilemma?
Vocab for April 7: jet lag (p.43), isolated (p.44), to be
in ones element (p.44)
Alex is beginning to experience “culture shock” in
this entry.List at least four
concerns he voices in this section/
Vocab for April 8:lacquer (p.46), vary (p.46), paranoid (p.47), exposed (p.47), fallout (p.
What is the official language of
What is Alex’s plan to “pass time” while he is in
this strange new environment?
What feature of Chinese society disturbs
How does Alex’s Dad ‘recruit’
Vocab for April 14:tone (p.52), reconnaissance (p.53), expansive (p.54), lattice
Name two ways that Alex manages to overcome his
What does Alex to in order to ‘blend in’ with
The Chinese language differs considerably from
European languages.List three
ways in which Chinese is different from European languages and give an example
What ingenious method does Alex devise to film the
city as he explores it?
What remarkable contrasting features does Alex
discover about Beijing?
How does Dad encourage Alex in this
Vocab for April 15:bigwig (p.56),lenient
(p.56), laborious (p.61), cynic (p.62)
April 15 (two entries)
Account for the flurry of activity on the part of
Dad, Eddie, and Lao Xu at on April 15.
Identify each of the following men:Hu Yao-bang and Deng
Vocab for April 24:execution (p.64), dodging (p.64), dais (p.65), quavered (p.67), ambitious
(p.67), edition (p.73)
Where does Lao Xu take Alex? Why?
Why does Alex go to this event
What seemingly impossible promise does Zhu Ge-liang
make to Zhou Yu at risk of his head?
Reread pp. 52-54 and briefly, in your own words,
describe by what clever ruse Zhu Ge-liang manages to honour his
Explain the phrase “Use your opponent’s strengths
against him” as it is illustrated in the old man’s story of Zhu Ge-liang and
Cao Cao (p.54).
Vocab for April 26:diplomat (p.75), revered (p.76), mouthpiece (p.77), deteriorate (p.78),
conjecture (p.78), militant (p.78)
Contrast school in
China with school in
Canada on at least five
Of what does the editorial in the Ren Min Ri Bao
People’s Daily newspaper accuse the student demonstrators?Who controls this
What are Dad’s, Eddie’s, and Alex’s views on this
newspaper’s charges against the students?
How does Lao Xu view the editorial? What is his
Comment on Alex’s opinion of Lao Xu as a
Vocab for April 27: mausoleum (p.81), claustrophobic
(p.81), accomplish (p.82), conscious (p.82), socialism (p.83), voice-over
(p.85), enthusiasm (p.85)
“It was electric.”(p.59)What is Alex describing in this
(pp.60-61) How do the students react to Alex’s
List the students’ demands.
May fourth in very important to the students.Explain its
important change has taken place in Alex?(*Refer back to the Prologue and
Alex’s observation that he and Ulysses are alike.)
Vocab for May 5:phony (p.87), autonomous (p.87), grim (p.88), notch (p.88), turmoil
What role has Alex assumed?
Of the students, Eddie says, “Everything is
controlled.”Give three examples
of how the students are controlled.What happens if the students don’t cooperate?
Explain the “big trouble” that awaits the
Vocab for May 20:tactics (p.90), vowed (p91), vague (p.91), to center someone out (p.91),
contradicted (p.92), braying (p.95), commandeered (p.96), deliriously (p.99),
Give two points explaining how do the students “up
the ante” in their protest.
Reread p.67 and list the students’
Who are the most powerful men in the Communist
Why don’t the Party officials take Gorbachev to
Tian An Men Square?
Who are Lan and Hong?What sacrifices are they
Explain how Alex becomes an important part of the
reporting team.Describe Eddie’s
new attitude toward Alex.
Account for Chairman Zhao Zi-yang’s removal from
Name one other piece of sinister news that comes
out at the end of this section.
What does martial law mean?Has it ever been invoked in
What did Zhao mean when he told the students, “It’s
Vocab for May 21/22:restriction (p.103), smuggle (p.105), determination (p.105), renewal
What risk is Alex’s father willing to
What is he not anxious to risk?What does this say about Alex’s
Vocab for May 23: latrines (p.108), eavesdropped (p.108),
barricading (p.108), intense (p.109), objective (p.109),defiance (p.109), feign (p.110)
“Things are getting really intense.”What is taking place that causes this
The PLA soldiers are unarmed and are treating the
civilians and students leniently.Alex suddenly realises why.Briefly explain what disturbing realisation Alex has arrived
What triggers Alex’s disturbing
What strategy from Sun Zi’s The Art of War
do the State officials appear to be implementing?(NOTE:Alex is beginning to realise that war
is more than a ‘game.’)
Suspicion again surrounds Lao Xu.Explain.
Vocab for May 24:vicious (p.113), dread (p.113), impression (p.113), cot (p.113), find two
similes on (p.115)
The demonstrators begin to escalate their
protest.Explain briefly how they
PATHETIC FALLACY is a literary device in which Nature is used to
reflect the state of mind or circumstances of a character or characters in a
text.Find an example of pathetic
fallacy on p.115 and explain how it mirrors the circumstances of the
On p.114Alex contemplates the situation of the Chinese students and reflects on
his own life.What conclusion
does he come to about himself?
Vocab for May 25/26: rebellious (p.116), hooligans P.116),
propaganda (p.117), scanned (p.119), binoculars (p.119), reconnoitre (p.120)
Explain the significance of the State labelling the
students “counter-revolutionaries.”Note that the State, like the students, is escalating the
confrontation: a) martial law has been declared, b) the students are labelled
counter-revolutionaries, c) the army surrounds
What conviction does Alex now hold regarding Lao
Xu?Why does Alex feel this
way?What strong feeling does
this conviction engender in Alex?
The student demonstration has escalated into a
Why does Alex eventually disobey his Dad’s
instructions to stay away from Tian An Men Square?
Lao Xu now shows his true colours.Explain how he does
Alex’s “worst nightmare” is realised.What is it?
Cite two significant events that happen to Alex
during the melee at Tian An Men Square that will forever change his former
attitudes concerning was as he expressed them on p.11.What has Alex learned about battle in
his ‘baptism by fire?’
After being shot, Alex remembers being “gripped
[by] iron hands.” In whose hands does Alex find himself?
What does Alex have in his possession that causes
Find evidence of Alex’s keen powers of
Name two things that cause Alex distress and two
things that afford him comfort.
stress that Alex feels from his recent experiences reveals itself.Cite the incident that shows his
Although Alex is safe for the moment, he is still
in considerable danger.Show the
truth of this statement by citing two examples of evidence.
What is a Molotov cocktail?Who uses them?
Xin-hua brings Alex up to date on events at the
square.What occurred recently at
Tian An Men Square was nothing short of a massacre.Use examples from Xin-hua’s account of
events to support this statement.
An additional horror is added by the PLA.What is it?Why does the PLA do this?What is Alex’s answer to this PLA
Alex has made the transition from observer to
active participant in the Tian An Men Square uprising.Justify the truth of this statement by
citing supporting examples.
Explain the following Chinese terms:kang, hu tong, tie
Vocab for June 6: moping (p.182), fitfully (p.182),
rummaged (p.190), sterilise (p.191), deployed (p.194), verge
Select an example of pathetic fallacy from the
beginning of this section.Explain how this device mirrors the events at Tian An Men
By what means does the State attempt to prevent the
news of the massacre from getting to the Chinese people and out to the
world?Find two to three
ways.The news still gets
out.Find at least two ways in
which this newsspread occurs.
In what sense in Chinese medicine a combination of
Eastern and Western methods?
By the end of this journal entry we are aware that
things have become very ugly.Select two to three instances that verify this
What is ping ban che?For what is it used?
Vocab for June 7:wardrobe (p.201), lull (p.201), detached (p.201), assume (p.202), request
(p.205), curfew (p.207), anticipation (p.210)
Alex is getting better despite the pain he feels in
his leg.What signs of
improvement in Alex’s condition can you find?
Alex has had enough.What does he desperately want to
do?Select a quote that expresses
his strong desire.
What is Xin-hua’s plan for Alex?What is Alex’s plan?Whose plan prevails?
What has Alex decided to do with the audio and
visual tapes he recorded? Give Alex’s reasons for this
Alex next alters this decision.What vivid images cause Alex to change
his mind?What powerful emotion
overcomes Alex as a result of these images?What logical reasons does Alex summon
up to support his new decision?
Briefly outline the plans for Alex’s
Vocab for June 8:assault (p.215), convoy (p.218), fend off (p.219), momentum (p.219),
sprocket (p.221), adrenalin (p.224), pagoda (p.227), sacred (p.228), deface
Name four of Alex’s Chinese ‘saviours’ and in a
sentence, identify each of them.
Why is Fu Xing Men Avenue, also known as Chang An
Avenue, so dangerous to Xin-hua and Alex?
How does Alex plan to turn this dangerous situation
to and advantage?
Contrast Yue Tan Bei Jie
Street with Fu Xing Men
What does the incident between the soldiers and the
young man in the yellow Sport Game t-shirt tell us about the
Explain why Xin-hua suddenly breaks down and
What is Xin-hua’s explanation for the terrible
massacre at Tian An Men Square”From something you learned in this novel about Chinese custom, explain
why her explanation is a plausible one.
Explain the expression “Straw boat borrow
The term incongruous refers to something being out
of place.Find an example of
incongruity in this chapter and explain the incongruity of this
Pathos is a literary term which can be defined as a
feeling of pity or compassion toward a person/character.Who experiences a feeling of pathos
near the end of this chapter?Toward whom is this feeling directed?Account for this feeling on the part
of the character who experiences it.
“Things at home would seem different now.I knew, I just knew that from now on
there would be some kind of gap between me and the other kids.”Relate these thoughts to an earlier
comment made by Alex.