I need help to do Eng HW about "The Tale of Kieu" by Nguyễn Du,

timer Asked: Mar 7th, 2019
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Question Description

I. Introduction to the plot

1) The popular title of this poem is "Kim Van Kieu.”How are the three described? What impressions are we to have of them?Kieu



2) Early on we learn there is something unusual about Kieu, when the three friends encounter a humble and neglected grave. What story is told about Dam Tien (Dahm Tee-en), and how does Kieu react?

3) Back in her room, Kieu is visited by the spirit of Dam Tien. What does she learn about her future, and how does she react?

4) The romance between Kim and Kieu blossoms quickly. What does each respond to in the other?

5) Then they find themselves alone in his house. What happens, and what doesn't happen? How does she fend off his advances?

II. Catastrophe strikes

6) Why does Kieu let herself be sold in matrimony to Scholar Ma (Mah)? How does she interpret her decision? Does she consider herself virtuous? What does she ask of her sister?

7) Suicide is a recurrent temptation for Kieu. Why does she think of killing herself, and what dissuades her?

III. Into prostitution

8) One feature of Nguyen Du's poetry is his use of nature imagery. List some examples.

9) How does Kieu respond to her new surroundings, and what is expected of her? Will such an extreme step help resolve the fate Dam Tien said lay in store for her?

V. A brief retreat, then a return to the world of action

10) Buddhism describes earthly life as a wheel of recurring sorrows. How is this reflected in the plot? What does Kieu want, and why isn't she allowed to have it?

11) Yet another man enters Kieu's life. Who is Tu Hai (tyu [u with an umlaut] hi)? What about him captures her heart?

12) Justice, or what Kieu calls "sweet revenge" is meted out to those who exploited Kieu. Do they each get what they deserve? Who is executed and who is not? Why?

13) After five years of peace, Tu Hai is captured and executed. Whose fault?

VI. Kieu finally finds peace

14) The story is brought full circle by catching us up on Kim's first lover. What happened to Kim?

15) Kim woos Kieu. How does he persuade her to marry him? (3060-3240)

16) The poet offers his own conclusion. How are we supposed to live our lives? (3241-3254)

Tutor Answer

School: Boston College


Answer outline to Tale of Kieu

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Surname 1

The tale of Kieu
Introduction to the plot
1. The popular title of this poem is "Kim Van Kieu", for the two sisters and the man they
(eventually) both marry. How are the three described? What impressions are we to have
of them?
For Kieu, she is a physically attractive woman with an exceptional character of self-sacrifice.
According to Nguyen Kieu possesses deeper charm one that surpasses that of her sister van in
both talents and looks (23-30).
Van’s typical description is that of a Confucian woman often portrayed as graceful and quiet. As
Du describes Van she is has a face of the moon, her smile is a flower, and her voice is the song
of jade and her skin white as snow (19-22).
For Kim, she can be described as a handsome young man often attracted to women but one that
is ready to challenge a system to make his life happy.

Surname 2

2. Early on we learn there is something unusual about Kieu, when the three friends
encounter a humble and neglected grave. What story is told about Dam Tien (Dahm Teeen), and how does Kieu react? (59-133; see 995f also)
When the three friends encounter a humble grave of a dead performer, DamTien Kieu connects
with the performer as if the performer were alive. The story that is retold about the performer is
that he was beautiful and very talented, but her life was full of grief. The reaction by Kieu is that
she promises to marry Kim Trong at least to make her life happy.
3. Back in her room, Kieu is ...

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