writing assignment 274

Writing Assignment 01
Due: 2018年10月3日 23:59

Write a short essay (roughly 400-500 words) on the passage below from Huang Chunming’s “Listen to Me All You Deities.” Discuss the role of this passage in the story as a whole—its place in the plot, and, more importantly, how it illuminates the story’s main theme or themes. In order to do this, you will need to identify what you think the story’s themes are, and talk about the specific contributions this passage makes to those themes. Feel free to discuss both the contents of the passage and the way it is written.

Your essay should:

  • State and defend a point or points.
  • Clearly identify the point or points you want to make. It is often most effective to do this in a sentence at or near the beginning of your essay, or at or near the beginning of a particular paragraph.
  • Support your argument by referring to the text you are discussing. If you quote directly from the text, put the quoted material within quotation marks.
  • Make clear to your reader the progression from one point or idea to the next.

Here’s the passage:

Chunmu ambled down the path to the intersection with the main road. His sons would not arrive for a while yet, but he did not know what to do to fill the time. He would not know and would not confirm, if someone were to ask if he’d come to the intersection to wait for them. A tour bus had parked by one end of the nearby bridge to change a tire. He’d heard it was an island tour for residents of a nursing home down south. The old folks had gotten out of the bus; some were walking around, while about a dozen of them sat silent and unmoving on the cement railings. Chunmu was taken aback by one of them, a familiar face that looked like a beardless Kaizhang Shengwang, General Chen, who had brought peace to Zhangzhou, the ancestral city of many Taiwanese. He looked over at the others. How strange: they all bore a resemblance to the deities in his temple! There were the Earth God, Ji Gong the Crazy Monk, Lü Dongbing, one of the famed eight immortals, Niupuza the Heavenly King, and so on. He felt like going up to chat with them, but now he stood still and gazed at the railing. The old men sitting there had been looking at different things, but their curiosity was piqued when they noticed someone gazing at them with surprise written on his face. With all of them now turned in his direction, Chunmu noticed more familiar faces, Patriarch Qingshui and the King of Five Grains, who tasted a hundred herbs. Seized by an unfamiliar panic, Chunmu turned to leave, but he looked down and saw the driver’s sweaty baby face. The driver looked up at him, and ai! Wasn’t that Nezha, the Rebel Third Prince?

His heart racing, Chunmu followed the path, feigning calm strides, though he knew he was walking strangely. What a coincidence. But is it really? It might be if only one or two of them looked like deities, but all of them? That can’t be a coincidence, Chunmu said fearfully to himself as he walked on. All you deities. You’ve got me wrong. My mouth talked trash, but it meant nothing bad. Honestly, I have no bad intentions. I swear. If I, Xie Chunmu, harbor any ill intentions, let lightning strike me down and take away all my children and grandchildren.

[pp. 226-227]

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