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166 CH. 4 / SETTING AMY TAN A Pair of Tickets 167 , 1 acterized by the unscrupulous cunning described by the Italian Renaissance ,politician and...

1. Write a brief constructed response (2 paragraphs) that discusses the differences between fables, parables and tales.

2. Write a brief constructed response (2 paragraphs) that discusses the use of importance of point of view in literature, referencing Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

3. Write a brief constructed response (2 paragraphs) that discusses the importance of setting in literature, referencing Amy Tan's A Pair of Tickets.

4. Write a brief constructed response (2 paragraphs) that discusses the differences between plot and theme, referencing Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.

5. Write a three to four paragraph extended response that creates a link between two short-stories that we have read or watched this semester. 

Short Story: Raymond Carver's Cathedral, Jamaica Kincaid's Girl, David Foster Wallace's Good People, Amy Tan's A Pair of Tickets, Yasunari Kawabata's The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket, John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums, O. Henry's The Gift Of The Magi.

Your paper should NOT give a summary, but rather an analysis of themes and literary devices. 

166 CH. 4 / SETTING acterized by the unscrupulous cunning described by the Italian Renaissance ,politician and writer Niccolb MachiaveIli (1469-1527). Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White ElephantsJJ presents a realistic setting in modern Spain, and a situation that at first seems commonplace. Yet something feels very alien about the episode, not only because readers may never have been to Spain. Because they are so sparse, details of the landscape and the bar at the station are magnified in their significance, as if setting alone tells most of the story. The stories that follow rely on setting in differing ways and to different degrees, but you will see in each of them a revealing portrait of a time and place. Just as our own memories of important experiences include complex impressions of when and where they occurred-the weather, the shape of the room, the music that was playing, even the fashions or the events in the news back then-so stories rely on setting to give substance to the other elements of fiction. AMY TAN A Pair of Tickets The minute our train leaves the Hong Kong border and enters Shenzhen, China, I feel different. I can feel the skin on my forehead tingling, my blood rushing through a new course, my bones aching with a familiar old pain. And I think, My mother was right. I am becoming Chinese. i "Cannot be helped," my mother said when I was fifteen and had vigor- I ously denied that I had any Chinese whatsoever below my skin. I was a I sophomore at Galileo High in San Francisco, and all my Caucasian friends agreed: I was about as Chinese as they were. But my mother had studied at a famous nursing school in Shanghai, and she said she knew all about genetics. So there was no doubt in her mind, whether I agreed or not: Once you are born Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese. "Someday you will see," said my mother. "It's in your blood, waiting to be let go." And when she said this, I saw myself transforming like a werewolf, a mutant tag of DNA suddenly triggered, replicating itself insidiously into a syndrome, a cluster of telltale Chinese behaviors, all those things my mother did to embarrass me-haggling with store owners, pecking her mouth with a toothpick in public, being color-blind to the fact that lemon yellow and pale pink are not good combinations for winter clothes. 5 But today I realize I've never really known what it means to be Chinese. I am thirty-six years old. My mother is dead and I am on a train, carrying wich me her dreams of coming home. I am going to China. We are going to Guangzhou, my seventy-two-year-old father, Canning . Woo, and I, where we will visit his aunt, whom he has not seen since he was ten years old. And I don't know whether it's the prospect of seeing his aunt or if it's because he's back in China, but now he looks like he's a AMY TAN A Pair of Tickets 167 , 1 young boy, so innocent and happy I want to button his sweater and pat , I: his head. We are sitting across from each other, separated by a little table , with two cold cups of tea For the first time I can ever remember, my father , 1 1 has rears in his eyes, and all he is seeing out the train window is a sectioned a i 1 field of yellow, green, and brown, a narrow canal flanking the tracks, low rising hills, and three people in blue jackets riding an ox-driven cart on this early October morning. And I can't help myself. I also have misty eyes, as if I had seen this a long, long time ago, and had almost forgotten. , , In less than three hours, we will be in Guangzhou, which my guidebook tells me is how one properly refers to Canton these days. It seems all the 1 cities I have heard of, except Shanghai, have changed their spellings. I think1 they are saying China has changed in other ways as well. Chungking is Chongqing. And Kweilin is Guilin. I have looked these names up, because, hai, where I will meet my two half-sisters for the first time. after we see my father's aunt in Guangzhou, we will catch a plane to S They are my mother's twin daughters from her first marriage, lit babies she was forced to abandon on a road as she was fleeing Kweilin Chungking in 1944. That was all my mother had told me about th daughters, so they had remained babies in my mind, all these years, sitt on the side of a road, listening to bombs whistling in the distance sucking their patient red thumbs. And it was only this year that someone found them and wrote wi joyful news. A letter came from Shanghai, addressed to my mother. I first heard about this, that they were alive, I imagined my identical transforming from little babies into six-year-old girls. In my mind, they 'I; were seated next to each other at a table, taking turns with the fountain I 1 pen. One would write a neat row of characters: Dearest Mama. We are dlive.4 " I' '!I She would brush back her wispy bangs and hand the other sister the pen, J and she would write: Come get us. Please hurry. I Of course they could not know that my mother had died three months 10 i before, suddenly, when a blood vessel in her brain burst. One minute she was talking to my father, complaining about the tenants upstairs, scheming b how to evict them under the pretense that relatives from China wereaov- ! ing in. The next minute she was holding her head, her eyes squeezed shut, groping for the sofa, and then crumpling softly to the floor with fluttering ' hands. So my father had been the first one to open the letter, a long letter it turned out. And they did call her Mama They said they always revered her as their true mother. They kept a framed picture of her. They told her I about their life, from the time my mother last saw them on the road leaving Kweilin to when they were finally found. I 1 And the letter had broken my father's heart so much-these daughters ,I calling my mother from another life he never knew-that he gave the letter ! ' ' to my mother's old friend Auntie Lindo and asked her to write back and , tell my sisters, in the gentlest way possible, that my mother was dead. But instead Auntie Lindo took the letter to the Joy Luck Club and dis- , cussed with Auntie Ying and Auntie An-mei what should be done, because ,
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AMY TAN A Pair of Tickets 169 they had knob for many years about my motheis search for her) twin daughters, her) endless hope. Auntie Lindo and the others cried oveb this double tragedy, of losing my mother three months before, and now again. And so they cduldn't help but think of some miracle, some possiblk way of reviving herifrom the dead, so my mother could fulfill her dream.; So this is what they wrote to my sisters in Shanghai: "Dearest Daughters, I too have nev4r forgotten you in my memory or in my heart. I never) gave up hope that we would see each other again in a joyous reunion. I am] only sorry it has betip too long. I want to tell you everything about my life (since I last saw you. I want to tell you this when our family comes to see ybu in China. . . ." Theb signed it with my mother's name. I 15 It wasn't until all this had been done that they first told me aboh my sisters, the let+ they received, the one they wrote back. "They'll think she's coming, then," I murmured. And I had imagined my sisters now beibg ten or eleven, jumping up and down, holdmg hands, their pigtds bouncing, excited that their mother-their mother-was crom- ing, whereas rnp mother was dead. "How can you say she is not coming in a letter?,' said Auntie ind do. "She is their mqther. She is your mother. You must be the one to tell +em. fdl these years, they have been dreaming of her." And I thought she was right. L, But then I s&ted dreaming, too, of my mother and my sisters and how it would be if I arrived in Shanghai. All these years, while they waitdd to be found, I had lived with my mother and then had lost her. I imagined seeing my sistees at the airport. They would be standing on their tiptoes, looking anxiou$ly, scanning from one dark head to another as we goi off the plane. And I would recognize them instantly, their faces with the iden- tical worried lobk. I "]ye~e, fiefie) Sister, Sister. We are here," I saw myself saying in my poor version of ~hinbse. I 20 'Where is Mama?" they would say, and look around, still smiling, two flushed and eagkr faces. "Is she hiding?" And this would have been lik4 my mother, to stand behind just a bit, to tease a little and make people's patience pull a little on their hearts. I would shake my head and tell) my sisters she was not hiding. "Oh, that mubt be Mama, no?" one of my sisters would whisper excit4dly, pointing to another small woman completely engulfed in a tower of pres- ents. And that, $00, would have been like my mother, to bring mount&ns of gifts, food, and toys for children-all bought on sale-shunning thanks, saying the gifts $ere nothing, and later turning the labels over to show my sisters. "Calvin Klein. 100% wool." I imagined qyself starting to say, "Sisters, I am sorry, I have co/me alone . . ." and before I could tell them-they could see it in my face-they were wailing, pulling their hair, their lips twisted in pain, as they ran [email protected] from me. And then I saw myself getting back on the plane' and coming home. After I had drhamed this scene many times-watching their despair tLrn from horror into anger-I begged duntie Lindo to write another letter. And at first she refused. I ' "How can I say she is dead? I cdnot write this," said Auntie Lindo with t a stubborn look. I "But it's cruel to have them beieve she's coming on the plane," I said. 25 ! "When they see it's just me, they'll hate me." "Hate you? Cannot be." She WAS scowling. "You are their own sister, their only family." I 'You don't understand," I protebted. "What I don't understand?" she said. And I whispered, "They'll think ym responsible, that she died because I , didn't appreciate her." And Auntie Lindo looked satisfied and sad at the same time, as if this 30 were true and I had finally realized it. She sat down for an hour, and when / / she stood up she handed me a two:page letter. She had tears in her eyes. I 1 realized that the very thing I had feared, she had done. So even if she had written the news of my mother's dekth in English, I wouldn't have had the , , heart to read it. !I "Thank you," I whispered. ) I I I The landscape has become gray, filled with low flat cement buildings, old factories, and then tracks and morel tracks filled with trains like ours pass- ing by in the opposite direction. I sde platforms crowded with people wear- ing drab Western clothes, with spotd of bright colors: little children wearing pink and yellow, red and peach. Arid there are soldiers in olive green and red, and old ladies in gray tops mcl pants that stop mid-calf. We are in Guangzhou. Before the train even comes to a/ stop, people are bringing down their belongings from above their seats. For a moment there is a dangerous shower of heavy suitcases laden with gifts to relatives, half-broken boxes wrapped in miles of string to keep the contents from spilling out, plastic bags filled with yirn and vegetable!^ and packages of dried mushrooms, and camera cases. And then we are caught in a stream of people rush- ing, shoving, pushing us along, un$l we 'find ourselves in one of a dozefi lines waiting to go through customs. I feel as if I were getting on a num- ber 30 Stockton bus in San Franc+s;b. I am in China, I remind myself. And somehow the crowds don't bother me. It feels right. I start pushing too. I take out the declaration forms And my passport. Woo," it says at the top, and below that, 7une May," who was born in "California, U.S.A.," in 1951. I wonder if the customs will question whether I'm the same person as in the passport photo. Ih this picture, my chin-length hair is swept back and artfully styled. I 4 wearing false eyelashes, eye shadow, and lip liner. My cheeks are hollowed out by bronze blusher. But I had not expected the heat in October. And ndw my hair hangs limp with the humid- ity. I wear no makeup; in Hong Kohg my mascara had melted into dark circles and everything else had felt tikt layers of grease. So today my face
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“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid from Charters, Ann, Ed. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction . 6 th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.
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HARRISON BERGERON by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213 th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General. Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron's fourteen- year-old son, Harrison, away. It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains. George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about. On the television screen were ballerinas. A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm. "That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did," said Hazel. "Huh" said George. "That dance-it was nice," said Hazel. "Yup," said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren't really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts. George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas. Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been. "Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer," said George. "I'd think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds," said Hazel a little envious. "All the things they think up."
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"Um," said George. "Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?" said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. "If I was Diana Moon Glampers," said Hazel, "I'd have chimes on Sunday-just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion." "I could think, if it was just chimes," said George. "Well-maybe make 'em real loud," said Hazel. "I think I'd make a good Handicapper General." "Good as anybody else," said George. "Who knows better then I do what normal is?" said Hazel. "Right," said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that. "Boy!" said Hazel, "that was a doozy, wasn't it?" It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples. "All of a sudden you look so tired," said Hazel. "Why don't you stretch out on the sofa, so's you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch." She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around George's neck. "Go on and rest the bag for a little while," she said. "I don't care if you're not equal to me for a while." George weighed the bag with his hands. "I don't mind it," he said. "I don't notice it any more. It's just a part of me." "You been so tired lately-kind of wore out," said Hazel. "If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few." "Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out," said George. "I don't call that a bargain." "If you could just take a few out when you came home from work," said Hazel. "I mean-you don't compete with anybody around here. You just set around." "If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people'd get away with it-and pretty soon we'd be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn't like that, would you?" "I'd hate it," said Hazel. "There you are," said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?"
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1. Fables, parables and tales are all forms of stories with difference in
their structure, characterization or their central focus. Apart from
differences, there are similarities in their traits as...

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