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Section 49 Quiz: The People’s Republic of China

What is the legacy of the People’s Republic of China?

By Lydia Wei
Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
December 10, 2019

How was the People’s Republic of China born?

a. out of the barrel of a gun & the whites of the Guómíndǎng’s eyes
b. from his flesh which became the farmers’ fields, from his left eye which became the revolutionary sun, from his right eye which became the sickle moon
c. a leftover dream of the starved peasants, scraped grains from the bottom of the cracked rice bowl
d. a promise declared from the blood-stained gates of the capital


Who was the founder of the People’s Republic of China?

a. martyr of the peasants, of the landless, of the illiterate, of the forgotten
b. landowner’s son with a rural Hunanese accent, cut off his queue pigtails with scissors delicate as cranes
c. Red Emperor born from the flames of stag-horned dragons, cupped this ancient nation & downed its elixir of life
d. liar, murderer, tyrant, god


What were the consequences of the Great Leap Forward?


a. starved farmers hallucinating corn husk thunder & iron choruses of rotting yams
b. learning to smelt hunger to steel, to imagine rain from locust clouds, to gorge dried worms & stay full for three days
c. the sentence written with parched crops, punctuated by the question mark of a shrunken body
d. none of the above (per government reports)


What were the principal components of the Cultural Revolution?


a. overturned altars & burned scrolls, forgotten prayers blackening the stars to bullets
b. scarves that slashed the blackness as a dimple-cheeked teenager kissed her vermilion fists, laughing
c. hollow-eyed professors, crowned with cow manure & dàzìbào & wires, who soon believed that every poem was a shelf holding the farmer’s knives
d. red: patriotic, pillaging, possessive red


What is the legacy of the People’s Republic of China?


a. a frayed poster hung in gūpó’s crumbling shed, where she scatters seeds for her naked chickens to bite off the sun
b. remember: the end to Japanese occupation & Western imperialism, China standing battered but finally free
c. some souvenirs of history, gap-toothed Jǐnggāngshān hawkers selling pencil holders & t-shirts & calendars & watches
d. the realization that victim & executioner were the same person, a figure & its red shadow circling each other