What did you learn about the traditions of Qing China that helped you to appreciate this memoir more? Some Qing aspects to consider: Confucian relations and shoots of virtue, Confucian gentleman, the magistrate, and the role of women.

The historical context of Bound Feet and Western Dress is the period from 1900 to 1989, the years of Yu-Is birth and death, when China was transitioning from the Qing dynasty into the modern world.

 

1. This memoir parallels the stories of two people, in this case Yu-I and her grand-niece, Natasha. Please summarize the memoir in a few sentences, as if trying to explain what it was about to someone who had never heard of it.

 

2. What did you learn about the traditions of Qing China that helped you to appreciate this memoir more? Some Qing aspects to consider: Confucian relations and shoots of virtue, Confucian gentleman, the magistrate, and the role of women. Be specific and use at least one quote from Bound Feet and/or the Qing material that we read.

 

3. Yu-I starts her story with, in China a woman is nothing (p. 6). Comment on this in any way you like, but be sure to refer to Bound Feet and/or our class materials and use at least one quote.

 

4. Yu-I is torn between two ways of life, from the time she is very youngand the title Bound Feet and Western Dress captures this dichotomy. Using at least two specific examples from the memoir, explain how Yu-Is life honors both the ways of old and new China, bound feet and western dressalthough she never actually had bound feet.

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