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. How old is the speaker when her brother is killed?

2. What medical procedure begins "Urania: Astronomy"?

3. In "Urania: Astronomy," what does the nurse wrap around the patient's arm?

4. What does the tutor do when the brother refuses to obey?

5. What does the map at the beginning of "Melpomene: Tragedy" indicate?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Mother's ideas about what people do just before death.

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

4. 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?

5. Explain the letter to Mother in "Melpomene: Tragedy."

6. Describe the process Mother undergoes to become an American citizen.

7. Discuss the significance of Mary in the "Opening." When does she appear? How is she important?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Religion is a theme that pervades the work in several forms. How does Cha's narrator treat religion? What does Cha have to say about the uses (or perhaps abuses) of religion in Korean and Korean-American culture? Consider the nun's relationship to the Church, as well as the religious rituals and lessons, which appear throughout the work in forming your answer.

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

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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