Study Questions for Disguises by Jean Fong Kwok Essay

599 Words 3 Pages
Q: List some of the religious practices and customs mentioned in this story. What do these practices and customs tell you about Mrs. Chen and her world?
A: Some religious practices and customs that are mentioned are: ceremonies held for the seven goddesses who protected virginal maidens, which, in Mrs. Chen’s (back then, Lai Fong) case, was the last time she prayed with her mother; wearing a golden amulet that was “opened … to the light” by monks of the Shaolin Temple to ward off evil; and bowing in respect to the student who helped her. She also blamed her past life for her misfortune and gave to the beggar because she believed that the gods viewed compassion kindly. Her actions and perspective of things shows us the way she was brought up. She grew up in China as an only child surrounded by religious beliefs. She acted with conviction and did what she thought was right, despite the hesitation or self-consciousness. Having grown up in a completely different culture with different values, Mrs. Chen shows us, through her flashbacks, what her life was like before. She lives with a different perspective than the other people on the train, and leads by example.
Q: Why do you think this story is titled “Disguises”?
A: The word “disguises” is significant because it can describe Mrs. Chen’s external and internal situation. A disguise is used to hide or cover something up. In this case, Mrs. Chen tries to hide from the present world by reliving the past. She is physically in a…

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