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

Cao Xueqin
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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 does Aroma realize about Bao-yu as she helps him redress after his nap?

2. Who does the headmaster leave in charge of the school while he is on leave?

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

4. What does the monk promise to do to the stone?

5. From what country is the family this story is about?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. What does the story of Ying-lian and Feng Yuan suggest about the role of fate and karma in the world of the novel?

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

5. Why does Aroma manipulate Bao-yu in Chapter 19?

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

7. How do the servants of the house react to Qin-shi's death?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Is the author justified in ending the novel with a cliffhanger? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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