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. What was a profession that Ray says he once was and was proud to be?

2. Who becomes sick and assisted by Ray with an insight he has while meditating?

3. Ray realizes while watching the weather that he doesn't know __________ anymore.

4. What was the name of Japhy's girlfriend that tries to go to Japan with him?

5. Who offers snide comments about other writers and poets?

Short Essay Questions

1. For how long does Ray continue to meditate in the woods?

2. What does Ray realize during one of his meditations he is empowered to do?

3. What is the vision Ray has in the fog while at Desolation Peak?

4. What do Ray and Japhy do to help out Sean as he is providing accommodations for the both of them?

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

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

7. What does Ray realize he misses when he goes to Juarez and meets some people for drinking and smoking?

8. What is Japhy's reaction to Rhoda's fiance?

9. Where is Ray's future job during the summer months?

10. What does a local confide to Ray when the two become drunk together?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The voice of the narrator is always a concern for a novel. Since the author's own life and opinions often influence the narration, the narrator's voice must be questioned.

Part 1: Who is the narrator of this novel?

Part 2: What does the narrator bring to the story and the telling of the story?

Part 3: How does this particular narrator affect the telling of the story? Is he/she a positive or negative influence on the story telling? Is he/she they trustworthy?

Essay Topic 3

Not surprisingly, one of the main themes in "The Dharma Bums" is the idea of non-conformity. This makes sense, given the time period in which Kerouac wrote.

Part 1: How is the theme of non-conformity expressed in this manuscript?

Part 2: Is there one person who seems to be more non-conformist than the rest? Why did you choose the person you did?

Part 3: If everyone is non-conformist, then can anyone truly be non-conformist? Isn't conforming to non-conformity problematic?

(see the answer keys)

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