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 notices Ray's peculiar habit of spending long periods alone in the woods?

2. Who comes with Japhy's sister when she visits him?

3. During the party, which character returns to his sleeping bag and decides to sleep alone?

4. Who wants to introduce Ray to the lecture and discussion circuit?

5. What is the place where Ray will be staying in order to spot fires?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What realization does Ray have that truly makes him feel free?

4. How does Ray get from Los Angeles to San Francisco as he searches for Japhy's shack?

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

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

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

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

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

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

One might say the sexualized descriptions of the women in this story are an indication of Kerouac's own feelings about women and his own perceptions of women.

Part 1: Describe the female characters who are introduced in this novel.

Part 2: What are the motivations of these women, as one can tell from reading about their actions? What does this say about the author's feelings about women?

Part 3: Which female character is the most important to the story? Why?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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