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The following passage is adapted from the short story "Village Opera," by early 20th-century Chinese writer Lu Hsun. The narrator recalls a childhood memory of being a guest, along with his mother, in his grandmother's home in Pingchao Village.
It was the custom in Luchen where we livedfor married women who were not yet in charge ofthe household to go back to their parents' homefor the summer. Although my father's mother was05then still quite strong, my mother had quite a fewhousehold duties. She could not spend many daysat her own home during the summer. She couldtake a few days only after visiting the ancestralgraves. At such times I always went with her to10stay in her parents' house. It was in a place calledPingchao Village, not far from the sea, a veryout-of-the-way little village on a river, with lessthan thirty households, peasants, and fishermen,and just one tiny grocery.…15We spent most of our days digging up worms,putting them on little hooks made of copper wire,and lying on the river bank to catch shrimps.Shrimps are the silliest water creatures: they willinglyuse their own pincers to push the point of the hook20into their mouths; so in a few hours we could catcha big bowlful. It became the custom to give theseshrimps to me. Another thing we did was to takethe buffaloes out together, but, maybe because theyare animals of a higher species, oxen and buffaloes25are hostile to strangers, and they treated me withcontempt so that I never dared get too close to them.I could only follow at a distance and stand there.…What I looked forward to most was going toChaochuang to see the opera. Chaochuang was30a slightly larger village about two miles away.Since Pingchiao was too small to afford to put onoperas, every year it contributed some money for aperformance at Chaochuang. At the time, I wasn'tcurious why they should have operas every year.35Thinking about it now, I dare say it may have beenfor the late spring festival or for the village sacrifice.That year when I was eleven or twelve, thelong-awaited day arrived. But as ill luck wouldhave it, there was no boat for hire that morning.40Pingchiao Village had only one sailing boat,which left in the morning and came back in theevening. This was a large boat which it was out ofthe question to hire; and all the other boats wereunsuitable because they were too small. Someone45was sent round to the neighbouring villages to askif they had boats, but no—they had all been hiredalready. My grandmother was very upset, blamedmy cousins for not hiring one earlier, and began tocomplain. Mother tried to comfort her by saying50the operas at Luchen were much better than inthese little villages, and there were several everyyear, so there was no need to go today. But I wasnearly in tears from disappointment, and motherdid her best to impress on me that no matter what,55I must not make a scene, because it would upset mygrandmother; and I mustn't go with other peopleeither, for then grandmother would be worried.In a word, it had fallen through. After lunch,when all my friends had left and the opera had60started, I imagined I could hear the sound of gongsand drums, and saw them, with my mind's eye, infront of the stage buying soya-bean milk.I didn't catch shrimps that day, and didn't eatmuch either. Mother was very upset, but there was65nothing she could do. By supper time grandmotherrealized how I felt, and said I was quite right tobe angry, they had been too negligent, and neverbefore had guests been treated so badly. After themeal, youngsters who had come back from the70opera gathered round and gaily described it all forus. I was the only one silent; they all sighed andsaid how sorry they were for me. Suddenly one ofthe brightest, called Shuang-hsi, had an inspiration,and said: "A big boat—hasn't Eighth Grand-uncle's75boat come back?" A dozen other boys picked upthe idea in a flash, and at once started agitating totake the boat and go with me. I cheered up. Butgrandmother was nervous, thinking we were allchildren and undependable. And mother said that80since the grown-ups all had to work the next day, itwouldn't be fair to ask them to go with us and stayup all night. While our fate hung in the balance,Shuang-hsi went to the root of the question anddeclared loudly: "I give my word it'll be all right! It's85a big boat, Brother Hsun never jumps around, andwe can all swim!"It was true. There wasn't one boy in the dozenwho wasn't a fish in water, and two or three of themwere first-rate swimmers.90Grandmother and mother were convincedand did not raise any more objections. They bothsmiled, and we immediately rushed out.
1. According to the passage, why does the narrator spend time in his mother's parents' home?
2. As used in line 54, "impress" most nearly means
3. The passage most strongly suggests that which of the following is true?
4. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
5. What theme does the passage communicate through the experiences of the narrator?
6. Based on the passage, why do the narrator's mother and grandmother change their minds about letting him go to the opera?
7. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
8. As used in line 76, "agitating" most nearly means
9. The author's use of the phrase "with my mind's eye" (line 61) implies that the narrator
10. Based on the tone of this passage, what emotion does the author wish the reader to feel toward the narrator?
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