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 Joy think she will never leave the commune?

2. In what do the sisters write to each other?

3. Where is Z.G. going in the morning?

4. What has happened to the women in the commune?

5. What does Pearl frequently see as she is doing her job as paper collector?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What do Z. G. and Joy begin doing immediately at the commune, and why is the work so grueling?

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

4. How does Joy get into China?

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

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

7. What does Pearl think about concerning Joy's father, Z. G.?

8. What does the Prologue recount?

9. What does Pearl think about as she goes after Joy?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Joy hears that Ping-Li had begged for a divorce from her abusive husband but was continually told to work for the greater good of China by being a better wife. Desperate, she committed suicide by throwing herself in front of the hay cutter. It is interesting to note that the villagers commented on how red her blood was, a sign of a good communist. There were not repercussions for Ping-Li's husband and dissent began to take over the women in the commune who claimed their rights weren't being respected. A few days later, the villagers were banned from speaking about Ping-Li's death.

1. Do you think Ping-Li was abused because she was not a good wife? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Discuss the symbolism to the Chinese workers of the red blood and what kind of propaganda could make people discuss a woman who has just killed herself in such a manner. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss the reasons you believe the government banned the people of the commune from talking about Ping-Li. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Dreams of Joy" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "Dreams of Joy" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "Dreams of Joy", questions that See most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the See's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss See's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of See and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 1,345 words
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