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Fifteen years old
Eight years old
Four years old
Two weeks old
Two years old
“Her efficiency so pervaded her being that she felt such matters should not be allowed to happen.” (page 73)
“she enjoyed the thrill and triumph when the cheque was signed the next morning at her office.” (page 69)
“she had to keep up with the stock market, unpredictable at the best of times.” (page 72)
“Having to discard her studies halfway meant that Mrs Ooi channeled her energy into a business career.” (page 70)
“She must be in with this new company while the competition is still lax.” (page 72)
An English teacher
Passionate about books and philosophy
Interested in social gatherings
He could not remember Gim Chye’s favourite fairy tale stories and he left the task of storytelling to Ah Chun.
He is embarrassed speaking in English to Gim Chye.
He found it difficult to share his passion of Shakespeare or Greek philosophy to Gim Chye in Hokkien.
He could not show parental love and attention.
He only use Hokkien to the servants and to his wife about the menu of the day.
She is a servant from China
She keeps Gim Chye’s tiny shorts and shirts as remembrance of his growing years.
She goes to Mrs Ooi to discuss the next day’s meal and to settles accounts.
She tells stories to Gim Chye of her childhood days.
She owns objects of worship, talisman, faded photos of her relatives.
Ah Chun enjoyed picking up seashells from the beach and brewing brown sugar in it.
Ah Chun enjoyed brewing brown sugar and putting it in seashells picked up from the beach
Ah Chun enjoyed eating seashells picked up from the beach and brewed with brown sugar
Ah Chun enjoyed eating brown sugar brewed using seashells as containers picked up from the beach.
Ah Chun enjoyed picking up brown sugar and brewing it in seashells from the beach.
Gim Chye groped for a cake, bumped onto the teapot on the banquet table and spilled hot tea onto the floor.
Mrs Ooi bumped onto the banquet table; the teapot wobbled and spilled hot tea onto the floor.
Gim Chye groped for a cake, bumped onto the teapot on the banquet table, spilled hot tea onto the floor and he slipped and fell.
Mrs Ooi bumped onto Gim Chye, who bumped onto the banquet table and caused the teapot to spill hot tea onto the floor.
Gim Chye groped for a cake, bumped onto Mrs Ooi, who bumped onto the banquet table and spilled hot tea onto the floor.
“He was a fulfillment of a very Chinese obligation – providing her husband with an heir to continue his family name.” (page 70)
“She began to sense her alienation and realized that slight affection and deep pride were not enough to bring her close to her son.” (page 71)
“She sometimes even wondered whether she could afford to allow her career to prevent her from getting close to her son.” (page 72)
“In a voice grating with irritation, she ordered: ‘Take that child away! What a nuisance! Can’t you servants see to such a simple thing, huh?’” (page 73)
“she had been unable to communicate her affection for her son ever since he was two years old.” (page 72)
Mrs Ooi told Gim Chye not to be silly and put her hand under the bed to prove to him.
Ah Chun told Gim Chye not to be silly and put her hand under the bed to prove to him.
Ah Chun put her arms around Gim Chye and comforted him.
Mrs Ooi put her arms around Gim Chye and comforted him.
Mrs Ooi and Ah Chun just stared at Gim Chye and told him not to be silly.
Since he was four years old
Since he was two weeks old
Since he was fifteen years old
Since he was eight years old
Since he was two years old
He was at the wash-basin in the dining room observing his muscles and facial features.
He went downstairs to eat his breakfast that Ah Sun prepared.
He went to wash his fish tanks.
He went to take a shower.
He went into the glass cage.
His parents believed he is prone to colds and chills
His parents promised to buy him a car when he is eighteen years old.
He is eccentric and has few friends.
His friends often come to his house to play.
He knew that he was scared and he is not used to living outside his room.
Nag at Seng Chooi to eat his breakfast.
Tell Seng Chooi’s mother to scold Seng Chooi for his bad behavior.
Complain that she can't do a lot of chores because of the pain in her leg.
Looking after Seng Chooi and running the household.
Bring Seng Chooi’s father his meals in the glass cage.
Rexie kept bumping onto the dinning table and upsetting the dishes.
Rexie went around biting a few servants and visitors in the house.
Rexie still bites people after eight years like when he was two years old.
Rexie kept coming to the dinning table and eating food from it.
Rexie went around barking at the servants and visitors in the house.
Useful articles on the Tin Crisis, the Vietnam War, the latest cancer report dated back to 1949, and favourite historical characters.
Model planes in glass cabinets with labels arranged in sections for World Wars One and Two and the more recent jet fighter planes and aircraft carriers.
Furniture draped with protective coverings to keep the original upholstery clean and prolonging its life.
A few inches left of a stale cigar on an ash-tray very near the edge of the desk which sprouted plastic flowers, books, newspapers, magazines and an adjustable lamp.
A trolley containing odds and ends of comics such as ‘Combat’ and ‘Commando’, pillows, blankets, an insecticide spray and old, yellowed newspaper clippings.
Seng Chooi’s father was angry that Ah Sun went to mess up his things while cleaning the room.
Seng Chooi’s mother was angry at Seng Chooi for messing up the house while trying to clean his fish tanks.
Seng Chooi let Rexie run around the house and Ah Sun was angry at him for disobeying her orders.
Seng Chooi’s father was angry at his wife for forgetting to buy his pineapple juice and chutney.
Seng Chooi’s mother was angry that Ah Sun did a terrible job cleaning up the house again.
Seng Chooi refused to share his durians with his sister so he smashed his plate on the floor to dirty all the durians so no one can eat it.
Seng Chooi was upset with what his mother’s words that he not only talked back at her, but also threw the durians seeds at her.
Seng Chooi refused to eat any of the durians his mother offered and he smashed his plate on the floor to show he meant what he said.
Seng Chooi ignored his mother’s warning of his table manners that when he reached for the durians, he accidentally smashed his plate on the floor.
Seng Chooi wanted more durians that his mother would not allow and he smashed his plate on the floor to show his displeasure.
She came to pay respects to her family after being newly married.
She came to give Seng Chooi the latest aircraft carrier model.
She came to collect and eat the durians her mother promised to reserve for her.
She came to introduce her husband to the family.
She came to pay respects to her family and give durians to them.
Worth at least a million dollars
As big as the palm of a child’s hand
A thick circular piece
An intricately carved jade of the most brilliant and lucid green
Innumerable diamonds arranged in floral designs.
A concubine of a Vietnamese emperor of the seventeenth century.
Mrs Khoo’s grandmother
Mrs Khoo’s mother
Lian Kim’s wedding
A banquet given by a sultan
Her nephew’s wedding
Her elder brother’s wedding.
Her daughter-in-law’s wedding
Ron was an Art student
Ron was a poor foreigner.
Ron gave a long whistle of admiration and incredulity when he looked at the Jade Pendant
Ron was a rich foreigner
Lian Kim met Ron in London.
She went to borrow money from Ah Soh.
She went to make cakes and puddings to sell in the streets.
She went to sell cigarettes.
She went to sell her jade pendant.
She went to mortgage the house.
Ah Soh exclaimed praises to Mrs Khoo and had raised her hands in shrill wonderment before the jewel box was opened to reveal the jade pendant.
Lian Kim had rudely snatched the jade pendant from the jewel box and pranced around the room shrilly parading it on her chest.
Ah Soh did not stop her daughter from snatching the jade pendant and prancing around the room parading the pendant on her chest.
Ah Soh was not interested in looking at the jade pendant when she offered her an opportunity.
Ah Soh’s daughter had rudely snatched the jade pendant from the jewel box and pranced around the room shrilly parading it on her chest.
She had a thin pallid face
She is a simple-minded girl
She is of Lian Kim’s age
She had a flat, child-like chest
She had an idiotic child-like face
They had to invite at least five hundred people to the wedding dinner.
The wedding was to be held at the Imperial Hotel.
There would be at least one Minister and three Members of Parliament, together with numerous business tycoons who would be present at the wedding.
Ah Soh and her daughter would be attending the wedding
Lian Kim was going to wear her Dior wedding gown, specially ordered from a French house of fashion.
He enjoyed gambling especially about race-horses.
He enjoyed playing mahjong.
His money and property had come down to him from his parents and grandparents.
He encouraged his wife to sell the jade pendant
He enjoyed entertaining his wide circle of friends.
Mrs Khoo’s daughter-in-law
Ah Soh’s daughter
A wealthy lady who made her home in another country
One son is a teacher in a Secondary school
One son is a businessman.
Three sons who are clerks
One son is still schooling in Secondary Three.
The eldest daughter is married.
When his parents said “don’t do this,” he obeyed and never did it.
His father would cane him if he disobeyed.
His father was very strict.
When his parents said “don’t do this,” he disobeyed and did it.
His father continued to cane him even when he was old enough to be married.
They take drugs
They do not spend money
They wear the latest fashion
They make love
Lie to their parents that they were staying back in school to have school meetings, or sports and games.
Frequent at coffee-houses to wait for their American and European boyfriends
Wear sexy dresses and put on make-up after school.
Becoming very bold in their behavior when making friends with European and American tourists.
Go to the public lavatory or hotel to change into their school uniforms.
After 1 a.m., the taxi fare doubles.
His customers would pay him all in American dollar notes
He would get extra money when young girls with their European or American boyfriends told him to keep the change for letting them prolong their time in the taxi making love.
He did not need to drive around looking for customers.
There would be a lot of tourists wanting to go to nightspots and he gets extra money for showing them directions.
She is the taximan's younger daughter of about fifteen or sixteen years old
She is intelligent enough to enter University
Her weakest subject is English
She does her homework before she goes to sleep
She was caught dressed up with make-up and being very bold in her behavior inside the coffee-house.
He rushed up to her and catch her by the shoulders and neck, and slapped her
He drove her home and beat her up until his wife and neighbors had to pull him away.
He drove her home and locked her up in her room for three days.
He just told his wife to check on Lay Choo in everything that she did and the sort of friends she mixed with.
He forbid her to leave the house except to go to school.
He was disappointed that Lay Choo made herself so cheap
He was disappointed that Lay Choo did not know how hard he worked to save up enough money for her University studies in future.
He was disappointed that Lay Choo chose to take advantage of his trust in her.
He was disappointed that Lay Choo was not as obedient as his other children.
He was disappointed that Lay Choo could not get into University
“the wet sarong clung to her plump, brown figure”
“the black oblique eyes”
“the round, high-cheekboned face”
“her hands wandered over her stomach”
“she was a being of two lives engendered”
Taking a bath
Collecting water for her family
“cry of a lonely water fowl”
“sinister flap, flap of night birds”
“dull angry roar”
“a rat dived with a gentle splash into the river”
“timid, nervous animals rustled their way through the tall grass and creepers”
“staring yellow eyes”
“massive head and shoulders”
It had a wicked glint in its eyes
It had a sullen and frequently bored expression
It showed no signs of really wanting to attack her.
It took a diminishing interest in her
It was suspicious of her.
The women, clucking like hens at the sight of a wheeling hawk, gathered the children into their arms, bolted their flimsy doors and called out to the men to do something about the tiger.
The men rushed around anxious about their cattle and goats.
The old men munched betel-nut and demand what the fuss was about.
The village headman and a crowd came to Fatima to question her about the tiger’s whereabouts.
The villagers immediately went to blow out all the lighted oil-lamps in the village so that they could not be noticeable by the tiger.
He felt it was the duty of the menfolk to protect their village
He was all for hunting the tiger at once, simply because he loved hunting.
He was a “wild tiger” himself.
He was thinking of the women and children who would not move an inch out of their houses until they knew that the tiger is dead.
He wanted to kill the tiger before sunset.
“the stripy one”
“the cat-like one”
“the hairy one”
“the evil one”
“the clumsy one”
The tiger fought the hunters fiercely before it was killed.
The tiger saw Fatima at the river and ignored her completely.
The hunters spied on the tiger giving food for her cubs before killing it.
The hunters discovered three tiger cubs in the cave after the tiger was killed.
The hunters fired their guns in the cave and saw all the tiger cubs scatter when the tiger was killed.
Raise them as pets