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. Why does one woman say that Pearl should not try to contact Z. G.?

2. To where does Pearl walk?

3. Why does Joy think she will never leave the commune?

4. Who is clearly talented when Z.G. begins his art class?

5. How long has it been since Pearl has moved back into her childhood home?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Pearl do every morning for a job and what does she find as she is performing her duties?

2. What are some of the lies Joy discovers about her family?

3. How is the commune set up for The Great Leap Forward?

4. What information does Pearl learn right after entering China that relieves her mind?

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

6. What does the Prologue recount?

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

8. What organization does Joy join in college and why does she end up in China?

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

10. What does Pearl learn about the whereabouts of Z. G. and Joy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Joy takes a ship to China. On board, she attempts to changes some of her American dollars into Chinese Yuan with the help of the captain. The captain pockets more than half of her money before changing over the rest. Joy is shocked, but understands that the ways of China are far different than they are in the States. At 8:00 am. Joy arrives at Chinese passport control. She repeats some of the propaganda mottoes she learned at the Chinese Student Democratic Association, assuring the agent that she's here to help build the People's Republic. The agent allows her to enter the country, but not before he confiscates her American passport. Then he takes Joy to have her bags searched. They remove many "bourgeois" items from Joy's luggage, including her brassieres. The luggage inspector pockets half of Joy's cash and then poses for a picture with her to be hung on the Comrade Wall of returned Chinese.

1. Why do you think the government of a country would allow such blatant misuse of power in stealing from individuals? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Why do you think the Chinese government maintains the Comrade Wall of returned Chinese? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss in depth what you think Joy should have been thinking after losing so much of her money and having her passport retained? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in "Dreams of Joy".

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of "Dreams of Joy". How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of "Dreams of Joy". How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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