The Dharma Bums Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does Ray go when he is accused of drinking too much?

2. About what mountains does Japhy begin to tell Ray stories?

3. Who does Japhy say used to walk the trail that he and Ray are taking at the beginning of this chapter?

4. How far does Ray hitchhike on his way to his summer job?

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

Essay 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

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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