The Dharma Bums Test | Final 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. Who begins to drink at the beginning of this day trip and continues to drink until he becomes inebriated?

2. What does Ray tell those that ask him about his peculiar habits?

3. What does the slip Ray gives to Japhy say? May you use the _____________ of mercy.

4. What does Ray refuse to give into, despite the temptation?

5. Where do Japhy and one of the owners of the house work during the day?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ray want to do when Japhy suggests they go to the lecture and discussion session?

2. What does Ray's brother-in-law think about his time in the woods and in the house?

3. What does Japhy do with his girlfriend who tries to board the boat with him to Japan?

4. How does Ray get from El Paso to Los Angeles?

5. For how long do Japhy and Ray stay away from the party on their hike?

6. What does Ray dream about when he is sleeping during the night after Japhy and he begin their hike?

7. Why does Japhy want to introduce Ray to some friends at a lecture and discussion session?

8. Where is Ray's lookout location to be situated?

9. Describe Rhoda's fiance as Ray sees him at their first meeting.

10. Where is Japhy living when Ray finally finds him along his journey?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While the characters profess to have a strong believe in Buddhism and its tenets, there is still the underlying theme of superiority.

Part 1: In what ways do Ray and Japhy feel they are superior to others?

Part 2: Why doesn't this idea of being better than other become problematic to these two men? Or does it?

Part 3: Does it seem like these men are true followers of Buddhism when they talk about how other people are not living the 'right' way? Can one be Buddha-like when they are critical of others?

Essay Topic 2

The theme of simplicity is another obvious idea that is tested and acknowledged as the story continues.

Part 1: What are Ray's ideas about simplicity? What are Japhy's ideas about simplicity?

Part 2: What are some examples of Ray and Japhy's adherence to simplicity?

Part 3: Why is living simply preferable to living any other way, according to these characters?

Essay Topic 3

There are many symbolic actions in this story that seem to tell the reader more about the character than the narrative actually does.

Part 1: What might be the symbolism of Ray going up the mountain with Japhy? What is the purpose of this trip?

Part 2: What is the purpose and the symbolism of Ray going up Desolation Peak by himself?

Part 3: What does Japhy's eventual journey to Japan seem to symbolize about his growth and his direction in life?

(see the answer keys)

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