Dreams of Joy: A Novel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Lisa See
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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. Who do the Chinese hope to overpower in the future?

2. Who is chasing Joy from the United States?

3. Who is actually Joy's biological mother?

4. What do Pearl's housemates say about her when she returns from Auntie Hu's home?

5. How does Sam die?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Pearl called into a government office and what is she told?

2. Who is Joy attracted to in the Green Dragon Village and how do the two interact?

3. About what does everyone worry on the commune and what does Tao's family do to try to fend off the anticipated problem?

4. What assignment is Joy given in the village, and why?

5. How is Pearl's father able to help the group escape to Hong Kong?

6. How does Joy inadvertently cause problems for the group in their escape plans?

7. What does Pearl think about how she can get into China and who helps her?

8. What does Pearl find when she goes to her childhood home?

9. Of what do Pearl's housemates accuse her, and who seems to be supportive of her?

10. What does Joy think about when listening to the propaganda about working hard?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "Dreams of Joy" is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as "Dreams of Joy" help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading "Dreams of Joy"? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in "Dreams of Joy" to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

Essay Topic 3

Over the course of "Dreams of Joy", Joy grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. "Dreams of Joy" might be considered a slice of Joy's larger story of her "coming of age." It might be said that "Dreams of Joy" is a "bildungsroman" of Joy. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Joy as she changes from a more carefree, innocent girl to a wiser, young woman. What are the significant events that change Joy?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Joy's growth throughout "Dreams of Joy", do you think "Dreams of Joy" could be considered Joy's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in "Dreams of Joy" who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

(see the answer keys)

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