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. Before Bao-yu leaves for school, his father berates him for _____.
(a) His desire to skip the first day.
(b) Leaving late.
(c) Forgetting his books.
(d) His lack of study skills.

2. According to the inscription on the stone, what has the stone once been?
(a) A dog.
(b) A woman.
(c) A boat.
(d) A man.

3. What do Duke of Ning-guo and Duke of Ring-guo believe will happen if Bao-yu engages in sexual pleasure?
(a) He will fail in his studies.
(b) He will have no chance with Dai-yu.
(c) He will become a better student.
(d) He will not be able to have children.

4. Who reveals sexual feelings for Xi-feng to her around the time of the birthday party?
(a) Qin Zhong.
(b) Bao-yu.
(c) Jia Rui.
(d) Jia Jing.

5. Where is the party Grandmother Jia and the family held?
(a) At the Cherry Blossom Courtyard.
(b) At the Regal Theatre.
(c) At the Ning Mansion.
(d) At the Regal Greenhouse.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Jia Yu-cun and Leng Zi-xing, what makes a person fundamentally good or bad?

2. Who does Dai-yu learn she will be living with even though it is not customary for girls to live with boys?

3. Although the songs tell the story of his family's life, Bao-yu is bored and does not understand what?

4. What is Dai-yu most concerned about on the first day of school?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the symbol of Greensickness Peak in relation to the rest of the novel.

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

3. Why does Vanitas change his name to Brother Amor?

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

5. What thematic devices can be drawn from Bao-yu's relationship with women both during his dream and afterward?

6. Is the fact that Dai-yu is offered flowers last in Chapter 7 a reasonable reflection of her status in the house at that time?

7. In what ways is more of Xi-feng's character revealed in her thoughts about Qin-shi and her dealings with Jia Rui?

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

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

10. How does Bao-yu use family ties to his advantage during the events at the school?

(see the answer keys)

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