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 was the subject of dispute Yu-cun was set to rule over?

2. What is the name of the Chinese town the story line switches too after the Taoist changes his name?

3. What is Grandmother Jia and family invited to?

4. What does Xi-feng do when Bao-yu questions a servant at the Ning Mansion?

5. Who starts to make regular visits to Qin-shi after the birthday party?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are Bao-yu's father's sentiments about Bao-yu depicted in Chapter 9?

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

3. Discuss briefly the ways in which Dai-yu's personality is developed during her first days in the Jia household.

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

5. 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?

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

7. 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.

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

9. What is your opinion of Aroma's decision to allow Bao-yu to "have his way" with her following her discovery of his dream?

10. Why does Xi-feng hush Bao-yu when he questions the drunken servant cursing the Jia family at the Ning house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is the author justified in including a large number of coincidences (for example Dai-yu visiting Bao-chai at the same time as Bao-yu, or Xi-feng entering the room just as Patience confronts Jia Lian) in the novel? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Explore the ways the author illustrates the divide between poor classes and rich classes in the novel and the various grey areas surrounding that divide.

(see the answer keys)

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