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. Who do the Jia family throw a birthday party for?

2. Who does Jia Rui nearly sleep with accidentally?

3. What is the name of the prestigious family about which the story is told?

4. Who are the first people who come across the stone after the goddess leaves it there?

5. Who makes a loud entrance at the Jia residence?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Upon their first meeting, do Bao-yu and Dai-yu feel a connection with each other? If so, how is it shown?

9. How does superstition appear in the events surrounding Jia Rui?

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

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

Destiny and predestination is a central theme throughout the novel. What narrative devices does the author utilize to maintain the reader's interest in this idea through an atmosphere of inevitability that pervades the novel's subtext?

Essay Topic 3

What is the author's reasoning behind having such a large number of important and clearly defined characters? Illustrate your answer with examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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