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 subject of the conversation Zhen Shi-yin overhears in his dream?
(a) A problem with his son's character.
(b) The curse of the magical stone.
(c) The future of the magical stone.
(d) The future of his daughter's life.

2. According to Jia Yu-cun and Leng Zi-xing, what makes a person fundamentally good or bad?
(a) Karma.
(b) Family and friends.
(c) The amount of money they have.
(d) Humors.

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

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

5. Grannie Liu first sees Xi-feng who makes the suggestion that these relatives don't visit because they find the Jias _____.
(a) Too busy.
(b) Prideful.
(c) Uneducated.
(d) Rude.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What is Bao-yu's first question to Dai-yu?

3. Who does Bao-yu take an opportunity to go and visit at the start of Chapter 8?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Bao-yu add to the book he is reading, and how does Dai-yu respond?

2. How does the author make it clear in Chapter 1 that the reader should expect an element of the supernatural in the novel?

3. Despite his limited presence, what becomes clear about Bao-yu during the first few episodes that involve him?

4. In what way does Dai-yu express her jealousy and somewhat obsessive attitude towards Bao-yu in the beginning of Chapter 9?

5. Explore the meaning/possible symbolism behind Bao-yu's experience in the dream in Chapter 5.

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

7. How does the family express their bereavement of and Qin-shi's death to the public?

8. How is Qin-shi's honor and devotion to family seen before she dies?

9. In what ways are Bao-yu's intellectual abilities displayed in the events surrounding Yuan-chun's visit?

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

(see the answer keys)

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