Week 4 Discussion: Orwell & Cheng | Homework Writing

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Initial Post Due Friday, 11:59pm

Response to Two Classmates Due Sunday, 11:59pm

This week we are discussing the readings from last week in group. Please answer the following questions for both readings: Orwell & Cheng. Please, use your worksheets on the readings to help answer the questions.

  1. What kind of stories is the author sharing?
  2. Why do you think he or she chose to share those specific stories? What is his or her purpose?
  3. What do you think is the result of the author being so open about those experiences? What is your reaction to reading those specific stories in the moment? What do you feel as you read them? (Particularly focus on what makes those stories effective or not effective compared to others.) Which article was more effective to you and why?
  4. What is the author’s main argument?
  5. What are two pieces of support that help prove the author’s main argument?
  6. What intrigued you the most about the article? Did you enjoy reading it or not? Why or why not did you enjoy reading it?
  7. Orwell states in his piece that “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude” (Orwell). What do you think he means by this? Do you agree with his statement or not? Why do you agree or disagree with Orwell?
  8. For Cheng, a lot of her essay discusses the tension between autonomy and self-determinism versus parental pressure and filial piety. Self-determinism is a very American ideal while filial piety is a tenant of many Chinese and Asian religions and heritages. Do you have experience with this tension or not? Do you believe that children owe their parents to conform to their wishes as Cheng’s mother voices? Or you believe that Cheng is correct in her vision of an individual self in her attempts to determine her own path in life, that children have the right to develop outside of their parents direct wishes to conform to the parents set notions for their children? Or do you fall somewhere on the spectrum of I agree with a difference where you agree with some points on both sides but disagree as well.

Here are some vocal words that might be new to you in my questions on Cheng this week:

  • autonomy: existing or capable of existing independently. In this case, a child existing independent from her family unit.
  • self-determinism: the philosophical concept that our decisions are determined by our own motives and deliberations, by our own character and values, and by our own feelings and desires. Or in less formal language, that we ourselves decide how to act, how to speak, who we are.
  • filial piety: a virtue of Chinese and East Asian cultures which means means to be good to one’s parents; to take care of one’s parents; to engage in good conduct not just towards parents but also outside the home so as to bring a good name to one’s parents and ancestors; to show love, respect and support; display courtesy; to ensure male heirs, uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise one’s parents, including dissuading them from moral unrighteousness; display sorrow for their sickness and death; to bury them and carry out sacrifices after their death.

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