Essay Topics/Writing Assignments
These 20 essay questions can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment. Students should have a full understanding of the text in order to answer these questions. They ask for a thorough analysis of the text.
1. Describe the central dramatic device of the novel, the love triangle between Bao-yu, Dai-yu and Bao-chai, and how it is used to generate conflict and drama and to maintain the reader's interest.
2. How is the framing story of the stone's background an effective foundation for the author to build the rest of the action upon?
3. Discuss whether the use of symbolism in the novel is effective. Make reference to the stone of the title and at least two other examples from the text.
4. Explore the ways the author illustrates the...
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