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

2. What is the name of the mountain by the cabin that takes Ray aback?

3. To what city in Mexico does Ray walk to, finding people and drinking and smoking marijuana with them?

4. What does a man offer per hour to Ray in order to get some help moving a piano?

5. What is the name of the dog Ray and his brother-in-law fight about?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Rheinhold Cacoethes do during the going away party for Japhy?

4. What does Ray refuse to do at a wild party at Sean and Christine's house?

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

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

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

8. What does Ray do as he stays in the shack behind Sean and Christine's home?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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