The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Discussion Essay

939 Words Sep 29th, 2014 4 Pages
“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” Reader’s Guide
Directions: Read the captioned book. Then answer the questions contained in this study guide. Post your completed document to the appropriate assignment box on the course website.

1. What do you think of traditional Hmong birth practices (pp. 3-5)? Compare them to the techniques used when Lia was born (p. 7). How do Hmong and American birth practices differ?
2. Over many centuries the Hmong fought against a number of different peoples who claimed sovereignty over their lands; they were also forced to emigrate from China. How do you think these up-heavals have affected their culture? What role has history played in the formation of Hmong culture?
3. Dr. Dan Murphy said,
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The author also speaks of other doctors who were able to communicate with the Hmong. How were they able to do so? What might be learned from this?
7. How did you feel about the Lees' refusal to give Lia her medicine? Can you understand their motivation? Do you sympathize with it?
8. How did you feel when Child Protective Services took Lia away from her parents? Do you believe it was the right decision? Was any other solution possible in the situation?
9. Were you surprised at the quality of care and the love and affection given to Lia by her foster parents? How did Lia's foster parents feel about Lia's biological parents? Was foster care ultimately to Lia's benefit or detriment?
10. How did the EMT's and the doctors respond to what Neil referred to as Lia's "big one"? Do you think they performed as well as they could have under the circumstances?
11. How does the greatest of all Hmong folktales, the story of how Shee Yee fought with nine evil dab brothers (p. 170), reflect the life and culture of the Hmong?
12. Discuss the Lees' life in Laos. How was it different from their life in the United States? Foua says, "When we were running from Laos at least we hoped that our lives would be better. It was not as sad as after Lia went to Fresno and got sick" (p. 171). What were the Lees running from? What were they hoping to find in the United States?
13. When polled, Hmong refugees in America stated that "difficulty with American

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