Discussion Questions for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

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From Ask.com:

1.What did you learn about nineteenth century China?

2.Why do you think women continued subjecting their daughters to foot-binding despite knowing firsthand the intense pain and risks?

3.”Mother love” is described as a mix of “love” and “pain.” Do you think that sort of mother love still exists today?

4.Beautiful Moon’s sudden death, the typhoid outbreak and the exile to the mountains weave tragedy throughout the story. How do death and the rituals surrounding it shape the characters and culture? How is that different in our society?

5.Do you think Lily’s betrayal was an understandable mistake? Did the way she treated Snow Flower change your opinion of her?

6.Does Lily make atonement with the way she treats Snow Flower’s family after she dies?

7.The book is divided into the stages of a woman’s life: Daughter Days, Hair-Pinning Days, Rice-and-Salt Days, and Sitting Quietly. If you were to name the stages of a modern woman’s life, what would they be?

8.What is the significance of nu shu?

9.Do you have an “old same” or “sworn sisterhood”? In what ways are your friendships like those described in the book?

10.Rate Snow Flower and the Secret Fan on a scale of 1 to 5.

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