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Bautista, B.

Blog 14: 6/14/10

posted Jun 14, 2010, 9:42 PM by

Does the mood of the story change? How?

The mood of this story changes very often weather it's between the relationship between Madame Mao and Mao or their political side. One moment Madame Mao would be happy they next the text in the book would make it seemed as if it took a wrong turn. Mao starts having mixed feelings because Madame Mao wants to be respected and acknowledged as a leader like Mao but he doesn't believe that should be right. Not really any moments in this story the mood was good. In between the sad moments and the moments were everybody is angry there isn't really a great mood. They're both confusing to me. And the mood changes very often with Mao and it sort of got me lost in between times. But overall the mood was low key.

Blog 13: 6/14/10

posted Jun 14, 2010, 8:52 PM by

Do you find the characters convincing? Are they believable? Compelling? Are they fully developed as complex, emotional human beings?

    I think that all the characters in this novel are believable because they portray roles as some people now days. An example is that throughout the book Mao has always been driven to always conquer something big just like leaders in our time. Both Madame Mao and Mao are both fully developed complexly maybe not in the best way possible but they are older and they are considered as leaders. Although they weren't good people in their time people always looked up to them. As for emotionally they came across as insensitive and bad people. They had so much lack in being able to portray good people that they did horrible things to good citizens. Many people to till this day have always talked about Mao not in the best way possible but recognized him as a powerful leader to do bad things. Mao's mind control over people was evident when he would turn professional, well-educated citizens into peasants. There was nothing good about him or his mind standard, so why would Madame Mao be so attracted to this evil person? She was attracted to the power. She was seduced by his ability to control people. People were subjected to his power no matter how ridiculous he was. Fear is what controlled his people. Citizens lived in fear, not knowing if they were going to be thrown in prison or die just because they were educated, successful, or intelligent.

Blog 12: 6/13/10

posted Jun 13, 2010, 10:01 PM by

Overall—how did you experience the book while reading it? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, or irritate, you?

To be honest at first while reading this book it didn't exactly catch my attention it seemed confusing and irritating at first because it seemed like too many things where going on and the format. As I kept reading I got used to the format and I was amused with Madame Mao's life and also Mao's life. They both weren't exactly what I was expecting. But now that I think of it their lives were hectic, and it's extremely sad that Mao did horrible things to many people but their lives were very interesting. Their lives got me more exited to read more and more of the book. And I was drawn after that.

Blog 11: 6/13/10

posted Jun 13, 2010, 9:16 PM by

Who is the most important character in this story? Why?

The most important character in the story would have to be Madame Mao because she is the main character. But Mao could also be another very important character because as I see it Mao made a huge difference in this story. Throughout the book we see both Madame Mao's and Mao's struggles. Even after Mao's death Madame Mao maintained control over many of China's powers. To be honest both Madame Mao and Mao could both be the most important characters at different times. If Mao wasn't in Madam Mao's life I don't necessarily think that she would be as motivated to hold as much power as she does with Mao by her side. Before Mao , Madame Mao was mostly focused on her acting career than anything. After becoming Mao's personal secretary she had stayed focused on gaining power and became First Lady of the People's Republic of China. Mao is important because not only was he the Chairman of the Communist Party of China but he was also Madame Mao's husband they may have had problems and while Madame Mao was gone for a while Mao had wanted to marry another woman. Madame Mao always loved the Chairman. Mao would have been a different person without Madame Mao but also the other way around. They both play a huge roll in the Chinese Revolution but also in this book. I couldn't necessarily say that Madame Mao is more important than Mao because the story is based one everything she does but also Mao had always played a huge roll in her life.

Blog 10: 5/19/10

posted May 19, 2010, 7:46 PM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:05 PM ]

Overall—how did you experience the book while reading it? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, or irritate, you?

    In the beginning this book didn't seem interesting. But as I started to read more and more I became intrigued by the story. I found the characters to be complicated in their own way. How does a young, poor waiter, find himself in a situation where he then becomes a contestant on a game show and ends up winning it all plus more. To know ever exact answer just by the experiences that he went through is remarkable. I also was disturbed by this story because of Ram's lack of sympathy towards Neelima when she committed suicide. The part that irritated me was how Prem Kumar tried to manipulate Ram into saying the wrong answer. He was determined to make Ram loose. It's amazing how Prem Kumar can play a facade as a good guy in some parts but is a really a bad person. I think overall this book was good and if I could change it, I wouldn't.

Blog 9: 5/19/10

posted May 19, 2010, 7:43 PM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:05 PM ]

Tell another way the story might have ended.

    In my version I would have changed the ending by having Ram say the wrong answer to the question. Although he got the answer wrong. He had a backup plan all along. He had secretly recorded Prem Kumar giving Ram the wrong answer for the 13 question and trying to make him loose. He then had Prem Kumar arrested for fraud and conspiracy against Ram. He had the proof because of the tape recorder he used to record what Prem Kumar said to him during the break. The authorities then threw him in jail. He was then prosecuted in a court of law and was found guilty. Ram was then allowed back on the game show with a new game show host and was given the chance to answer another question in the 13th slot which he got right. I also would have had him win the jackpot and had him start a new life with Smita and as he got older he bought out Prem Kumar's game show and started his own. He soon became a very successful man and his life was changed for the better with just a game show.

    Although my ending didn't reflect on what was said in the beginning of the prologue. This ending would have readers at the edge of their seats like at the end of each chapter when they were asking him the

Blog 8: 5/19/10

posted May 19, 2010, 4:44 PM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:05 PM ]

What was the funniest/saddest/strangest thing that happened? Why?

    I think when Neelima Kumari died in the novel Q&A it was both sad and strange. It was sad because of the fact that she was the one who killed herself. She practically left everything behind, her tragedy was devastating for many people. Even though her death affected people in a sad way, Ram's reaction to her death was emotionless. It was just like a matter of fact... she's dead. It was strange because not only did he live in her home day by day, but she was one of the two women in his life and had a role as a sort of mother figure for him. While reading these few pages in the book of her death while Ram described, "But I don't have to touch her cold skin to know that she is dead" (232). I really thought it was going to be dramatic like he fell to his knees and was devastated by seeing her dead. This really irritated me because throughout the chapter Tragedy Queen, their relationship had it's good times and bad times, and it was like if Ram saw all the things Neelima went through with her lover and saw how her dad affected her, he knew she was going to commit suicide at one point or another. If he knew this, why didn't he stop her or talk or through it. It may or may not could of  changed her mind but it would be worst living with the fact that you might of had a chance to stop her death but you didn't.

Blog 7: 4/9/10

posted Apr 10, 2010, 7:21 AM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:04 PM ]

How do you feel when Maria Isabel leaves Honduras?

    When Maria leaves Honduras I feel really bad for her and Enrique's daughter Jasmin. Although I think them reuniting would help their relationship a lot, I think Enrique's relationship with Jasmin is going to become distant. To me the relationship with Enrique and his daughter is going to turn out to be like Enrique and his mothers. Although it would be too dangerous I know things might shake up between her and Enrique. Not only Enrique would loose his authority in his and Jasmin's relationship but also Maria. She's going to feel left behind, she already hates it when her mother says; "I'll be right back" she thinks she's not coming back. And it scares her. I think that it is the best thing for them because if Maria took her daughter to cross the border it would be way too dangerous for a little girl. Also if Maria stayed both her and Enrique would have thoughts of them both seeing other people. And that would be even worse for the relationship between them both and Jasmin. Hopefully when Enrique feels like its time to go back to Honduras leaving the U.S would be a really good decision. Even if in the future they all want to return back to the U.S Jasmin would be old enough and the journey would be easier for all of them.

Blog 6: 4/9/10

posted Apr 9, 2010, 8:57 PM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:04 PM ]

What problems develop almost immediately when Enrique is reunited with his mother? Do these problems surprise you?

    Enrique and his mother reunited in North Carolina and Enrique was happy to be with his mother again but after a few weeks tension grew. The fact that Lourdes wasn't apart of Enrique's life for the longest time, so he didn't think that she could be the one to tell him what to do. His resentment towards his mother caused a lot of tension between them both because he hadn't seen his mother and led him to think that she had no authority in their relationship.  This issue caused many arguments that made Enrique want to move back to Florida. Soon enough Enrique moved back in with his mom and they pretty much resolved their issues. These problems didn't surprise me at all because it's normal for families to argue. It's especially normal to argue over an issue like this because Enrique did go through a lot but then again Lourdes did too because she had to make a big decision to leave her son to have a better life in the U.S thinking it would help them both. In the long run it did affect their relationship but a son can't live without the love of  his mother, but at that point in time I can see why he didn't really have to listen to her. I also feel like Enrique made a really good decision to apologize and Lourdes made a good decision to accept it as well.

Blog 5: 3/21/10

posted Mar 21, 2010, 6:52 PM by   [ updated May 19, 2010, 8:03 PM ]

How do you feel when reading the book? Why did you feel this way?

While reading this book I feel as if Enrique's making a mistake going through all these obstacles to see his mother. I know that if I was in his position I wouldn't do this. Although it's difficult not having your mother, it's also risky and dangerous going through this much as a child. I feel this way because I'd rather be safe then sorry. I understand the fact that not knowing much about your mother would kill you. But while Enrique's going through this route, I can't help but put myself in his shoes. I stop and think about his actions and compare it to the consequences. I not only put myself in Enrique's shoes but also his mothers. I know for a fact that if she goes trying to look for her son and he's not there she's going to freak out. That would be horrible knowing that your son went through all that because he was trying to find his mother. I'd feel like a horrible mother because although she went to the U.S for a better life, I could of stayed there to keep my son safe. I also take into consideration that if he ends up seeing his mother they would both be happy, but I know that there are other safe ways that they can be together again. The fact that Enrique's barring enormous pain and loss without his mother makes him take these risks. I can't help but wait to see what comes next.

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