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. What does Mother do with her wages?

2. Which one does the narrator NOT describe in "Urania: Astronomy"?

3. On what day did Guan Soon lead a revolutionary protest?

4. What color is the fluid that emerges during the medical procedure in "Urania: Astronomy"?

5. What simple act has not been forbidden of Mother?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why is Yu Guan Soon's birth dated on the lunar calendar while her death is dated on the Julian calendar?

4. How does the speaker in the "Opening" perceive religion?

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

6. In "Urania: Astronomy," what does the tongue image symbolize?

7. How do Demeter and Sibyl appear as figures in "Melpomene: Tragedy"?

8. Discuss the break down in the translation exercise in the opening, particularly beginning with exercise number 5 in the second set of translations. Why does the grammar, tone, and voice shift?

9. What is happening in the opening passage of "Melpomene: Tragedy"?

10. Where does Mother teach?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the author's play with genre in the novel. How does Cha manipulate various genres and forms in her work? Does Cha break genre conventions in a way that expands our notions of what a book can do? Or does she simply overstep the bounds of what a book should do? Provide evidence and support for your analysis.

Essay Topic 2

Family plays a significant role in Cha's Dictee. Describe the way family members are linked throughout the work, then address the following questions. How does Cha treat family in this work? What role to family relations play in the narrator's decisions? How does the narrator perceive family? What does Cha's commentary about family appear to be?

Essay Topic 3

Much of Cha's text deals with the experience of being a Korean-American woman in the period following the Korean War. How does she treat this experience? How does she comment on her place and/or reception within U.S. American culture? Is she nostalgic for Korea? Proud to be an American? Both? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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