Dictee Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When does Mother take the train home?

2. How long must Mother work to repay her debt?

3. Which ritual contains nine of each action?

4. Which language opens the book?

5. How many daughters did Guan Soon's family have?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Cha include a quoted section of Japanese-Korean history in "Clio: History"?

2. What is the significance of the italicized passages in the "Opening"?

3. Describe the way Cha treats soldiers in "Melpomene: Tragedy."

4. In "Calliope: Epic Poetry," how does the narrator attempt to communicate with her mother?

5. What is Mother's MAH-UHM? Where is it trapped?

6. Describe the medical procedure in "Urania: Astronomy."

7. Discuss the significance of the title which first appears in the "Opening." What does "dictee" mean? How does it fit the work?

8. Discuss the significance of the image at the end of "Clio: History."

9. Why is Mother born in Manchuria?

10. In "Urania: Astronomy," how do pages and punctuation relate to the focus on breath?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout Dictee, Cha experiments with notions of time; she comments on concepts of time ranging from systems of calendar dating to experiential time. Discuss the role of time in Cha's work. How does she manipulate language to convey different experiences of time? Why does she incorporate so many methods of marking or experiencing time? How does incorporating these differing experience of time work contribute to the overall project of the work?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the significance of the work's nine-part structure. How does Cha's invocation of a Muse in each chapter structure and order the work? What new layer of meaning does it lend the text? Is this choice effective in adding to the overall message of the work? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Cha's stylistic choices throughout the work, focusing particularly on the author's use of language. How does she integrate simile, metaphor, and other literary devices into her prose and poetry? How do these techniques relate to the message of the work as a whole? Support your argument with evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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