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

Cao Xueqin
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 153 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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 do Bao-yu and Xi-feng hear as they leave the Ning Mansion?

2. What does Xi-feng make Jia Rui believe about herself?

3. What is Grandmother Jia and family invited to?

4. According to the inscription on the stone, what has the stone once been?

5. What is the alleged, but inaccurate, reason given for Jia Rui becoming ill?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What can be understood from the events surrounding the situation at the school in regard to other school children making fun of the boys of the Jia clan?

3. How does the stone eventually save Bao-yu and Xi-feng?

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

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

6. For what reason(s) might Bao-yu have become discontented living in the Prospect Garden?

7. What does the way the Jia family undertake preparations for Yuan-chun's visit show about their character when it comes to money?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Because he is won over and particularly moved by the story of the stone, it could be said that Vanitas (later Brother Amor) is the character readers should identify with most. Comment upon this idea, explaining in the process how or why the story is "not just another erotic romance" as the stone itself says.

Essay Topic 2

Explore the role of sex and sexuality in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Explore the relationship between "real" and "fantastic" worlds in the novel with a particular focus on The Land of Illusion and what influence it brings upon the main story.

(see the answer keys)

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