Instructions: This essay is based on Rae Yang's memoir about coming of age during the Maoist years in China and living through the Cultural Revolution. Born in 1950 in the PRC, Yang later came to the United States for graduate study and pursued a college teaching career. This memoir is an account of her experiences and those of her family during some of China's most turbulent years. Further instructions and guidelines regarding the essay can be found on the next page.
Prompt: Based on the evidence gathered from Spider Eaters, what were the purposes and methods of the Cultural Revolution?
How did it turn out in reality? What impact did it have on the lives of the participants?
Some additional questions to consider and possibly incorporate into your essay include: How did the Cultural Revolution affect family dynamics, and how does Spider Eaters show this?
What does Yang's individual experience of the Cultural Revolution tell us about large-scale events and perhaps mass hysteria?
Reference book: Rae Yang, Spider Eaters: A Memoir