The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber; Volume 1: The Golden Days Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Cao Xueqin
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is the name of the goddess in the opening chapter?
(a) Ne-chai.
(b) Bo-chai.
(c) Dai-yu.
(d) Nu-wa.

2. What is the real reason for Jia Rui becoming ill?
(a) He falls into a stagnant pond.
(b) He is lovesick.
(c) He is doused with contents of a slop pail.
(d) He eats food that has gone bad.

3. What does Aunt Xue give to Zhou Rai's wife?
(a) A box of real flowers.
(b) A box filled with money.
(c) A box of decorations for her house.
(d) A box of artificial flowers.

4. What does Leng Zi-xing explain in regards to turning out sons?
(a) They are looking for a man to replace their sons.
(b) That they struggle in bearing good male heirs.
(c) They are very successful in turning out strong and capable sons.
(d) They will soon be turning over their estate to the youngest male heir.

5. Why does Bao-yu make a scene upon returning home from his visit with Bao-chai?
(a) Because Nannie Li drank something that was intended for him.
(b) Because nobody welcomes him home.
(c) Because Nannie Li has been cursing him behind his back.
(d) Because he misses Bao-chai.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who reveals sexual feelings for Xi-feng to her around the time of the birthday party?

2. Which character from earlier in the book resurfaces working as a maid under the name Caltrop?

3. Who suggests a complex plan of action to bring a satisfactory end to the whole affair over which Yu-cun is presiding?

4. Why does Dai-yu get upset in Chapter 7?

5. What does Yu-cun do to the usher as a result of feeling uncomfortable around him?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways are fear of shame and being poor seen in Chapter 6?

2. Explore the significance of Bao-yu's inability to understand the songs the fairies sing to him about his family history, how to improve himself, and the fates of the women of the household.

3. Hypothesize over the influence Bao-yu's father has on him despite his consistently disapproving attitude towards Bao-yu.

4. What events surrounding the trial in Chapter 4 illustrate further the Jia family's decline?

5. What can be understood from Chinese diplomatic culture when considering Bao-yu's meeting with Prince Qinzhong?

6. How does the author establish karma as a central theme in Chapter 1?

7. How is the divide between rich and poor developed in Chapter 2?

8. Although the Jia family throws a spectacular birthday party for Jia Jing even though he refuses to leave the monastery to attend, much of the conversation centers on Qin-shi's puzzling illness. Hypothesize as to why this is.

9. Describe Bao-yu's relationship to alcohol in Chapter 8.

10. Discuss the concepts of fate and destiny in relation to the meeting at which Bao-chai looks at Bao-yu's jade.

(see the answer keys)

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