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. How does a woman kill herself one day?

2. Who is not suspicious of Pearl?

3. Where do Joy and her father go?

4. How does Joy feel about returning to the commune?

5. What does Pearl think she would have done if life had treated her a bit more kindly?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the brigade leader say about Yong, and what does he make Yong do?

2. What does Dun do and how does Pearl feel about it?

3. What sort of horrors do Z.G. and Pearl see when they are driving to the village?

4. What happens that restores the closeness between Joy and Pearl?

5. Why does Tao's mother send Joy to the birthing house and what is the outcome?

6. What does Pearl finally tell May about Joy and Z. G.?

7. How does Joy feel about returning to the Green Dragon Village, and what has happened to the village?

8. How does Joy react to the spectacle the Brigade leader makes of Yong, and how does she display courage?

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

10. What contest does the Brigade leader announce and how does the contest contribute to the food shortage?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The government clearly has no idea how to properly plant and maintain field harvests, and they have the peasants so full of fear of be labeled counter-revolutionary that they won't speak up when they hear the terrifying field plans for The Great Leap Forward. Had anyone tried to convince the brigade leader that planting wheat in a cornfield wouldn't work, he would not have listened to their argument anyway. The brigade leader grew up in the city his entire life, is illiterate, but managed to secure a high-ranking position in the new government.

1. Explain the process you think would have to happen to beat people down so far that they would plant a food crop that would not grow. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think are the possible problems that might arise from having a city person run a farm. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. What do you see are the problems that are caused by having citizens in a country so fearful to speak out over a plan that is obvious to them will starve the population that they plant the wheat without saying a word to the commune leader. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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