Dreams of Joy: A Novel Test | Final Test - Hard

Lisa See
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the government realize about the peasants?

2. How does Joy convince the brigade leader to let her do her project in the commune center?

3. What stage of starvation are the peasants entering?

4. What is valued over performance?

5. What is the problem with planting wheat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Pearl and May. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Z.G. and Dun. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters in "Dreams of Joy" help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Lisa See.

2. What in See's background may have helped him in writing "Dreams of Joy"? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

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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