READING RESPONSE #1 (Life is Beautiful).
Consider the following questions (you need not answer each of them fully):
Pay attention to Guido's and Josue's roles as a confabulator and a storyteller (repsectively) and reflect on:
- How does the Holocaust become more than history, a story to be told?
- What is the mission of the storyteller?
- What is the relation between telling one's story and survival?
READING RESPONSES #2-3 (The Drowned and the Saved).
- What does Levi's purpose seem to be in writing this book?
- What is the relation between bearing witness and language?
- What ethical task does Levi believe to be undertaking?
READING RESPONSE #4 ("Diary of a Madman"):
- What is the relation between history, Confucian tradition, and cannibalism, according to the Madman?
- Is the Madman a reliable witness? Why or why not?
- Is the friend who writes the preface a reliable witness? How does the friend's preface change our understanding of the text that follows?
READING RESPONSE #5 ("Azaleas Wept Blood"):
- What are the different stages in Leng Feng's path toward madness?
- What are the possible reasons for Leng Feng's madness?
- What role does the narrator, Leng Feng's nephew, play in the story?
- What does the narrator confess to? Is it a crime?
- How does the past intrude into the present? Pay special attention to the role of specific places that remind of the past.
- Why does the narrator tell his story? What kind of storyteller is he?
READING RESPONSES #8-9 (The Reader):
- What is the significance of Hanna's request that she be read to? What other meaning does the request acquire during the trial?
- Why does Hanna choose not to testify? What is at stake for her other than "simply" that her illiteracy will be revealed?
- What is Michael's role? What choices does he make and why?

READING RESPONSES #10-11 (Grass Soup):
- How does Zhang perceive of his role as witness? Does he see himself as a reliable witness? What problems does he find in using language to convey his message? Focus your analysis on specific passages.

READING RESPONSE #12 (In the Heat of the Sun):
- How does the film portray the Cultural Revolution? How does it address, if at all, the atrocities described in Grass Soup?
- What kind of storyteller is the narrator? How reliable is he as witness?

READING RESPONSE #13 (See Under: Love Part I):
- What is the effect of telling the first part through Momik's 9-year-old voice?
- How does Momik try to translate the experience of "Over There" to his world? To what results?

READING RESPONSES #14-15 (See Under: Love Parts II and III):
- What is the relation between Momik and Bruno? Why does Momik want to write Bruno's story?

READING RESPONSE #16 (See Under: Love Part IV):
- What is the relation between Wasserman and the story of Scheherazade? What is its importance to our understanding of Grossman's novel and of the Jewish Holocaust?
- What is the effect of telling Wasserman's life story and fictional story of Kazik through an Encyclopedia? Why does Grossman use this device?