The Dharma Bums Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 far does Morley decide to walk in order to drain the crankcase which he has forgotten to drain before starting the journey?

2. What color of eyes does Princess have?

3. Who is uncomfortable in the more expensive restaurant where the men have dinner?

4. What did Morley not bring with him on the camping trip?

5. What do the bums tell Ray there is good money to be made prospecting?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the realization Ray has when he watches the way Japhy descends the mountain?

2. Once they reach a beautiful lake along their hike, what does Morley do?

3. What is the arrangement that Beaudry and Ray work out?

4. What does Ray seem to believe about the ideas of Buddhism and Christianity?

5. Why doesn't Ray decide to camp in Mexico when he arrives?

6. How will Japhy and Ray find their way along the mountain trail, according to Japhy?

7. What does Ray notice about Los Angeles as he rides the bus to Riverside?

8. Describe the character of Ray Smith as he arrives in Los Angeles.

9. What are some of the ways Japhy shows he is generous?

10. What does a transient in Riverside warn Ray about once he arrives?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The spontaneous life of Ray is one that some readers admire and other readers abhor. The ability to move from one place to another, one idea to another is freeing and yet it creates the sensation of never being grounded.

Part 1: What are some examples of Ray's spontaneous way of life?

Part 2: How are Ray's beliefs also spontaneous? In what ways do his beliefs shift?

Part 3: Would you like to live the way Ray does? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is the practice of compassion for others. In giving of one's self, one can attain true enlightenment and peace.

Part 1: How do the characters in the story define the idea of compassion?

Part 2: Describe at least two instances in which one character is compassionate to another character.

Part 3: Do the characters in the story seem to be able to be compassionate to each other? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Settling into one area seems to be something Ray is unable to do, preferring instead to travel from one location to the next as his moods dictate.

Part 1: What does the idea of always moving seem to say about Ray?

Part 2: Do you think Ray is truly a wanderer or someone who is always trying to run away from his life? Why?

Part 3: What does the wandering of Ray seem to say about the idea of being still? What does the author seem to be saying about staying in one place?

(see the answer keys)

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