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by Donna Jo Napoli
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1.How does this version of Cinderella compare to the traditional Western one? Which do you prefer?
2.Think about womens roles in this story and time period. Have the roles for women and girls changed much? If so, are the roles harder now or then?
3.Thinking of the title Bound, what, other than feet, can this be referring to?
4.Many women have endured pain and suffering throughout the ages, all in the name of beauty. One that is very difficult for western cultures to understand is the custom of foot binding. Foot binding is seen as a cruel practice to get to a beauty ideal. Can you think of something we do today that is considered beautiful that may be though of as cruel in later years? Think about corsets, neck rings, lip plates, tanning, liposuction, cosmetic surgery, piercings, etc. What kind of limitations do these put on women?
5.Why do you think women perform these beauty body modifications? Do you think these same ideals apply to men today?
6.In America we celebrate our freedoms. Most Chinese women in this time period had very few, but Xing Xing did have some. What were they? Did she, a servant, have more freedoms than her exalted stepsister? Why or why not?
7.What role does the carp play in this story?
8.At the end of the book it says Xing Xing was a strong woman in a world that tried to deny the very existence of such a thing. How was she strong in the beginning? How did she change? Were any of the other women in the story strong? Stepmother? Wei Ping?
9.When the prince enters the story, how is he described? Is he dashing and romantic? What about their conversation? Is it like the Western version where he sweeps her off her feet into Happily Ever After?
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