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 Yu-cun let the family know about the murder case?

2. What actual name does Bao-yu cry out in his sleep?

3. What do the more ill-bred students do in light of the headmaster's absence?

4. Which character from earlier in the book resurfaces working as a maid under the name Caltrop?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What can be understood from Chinese diplomatic culture when considering Bao-yu's meeting with Prince Qinzhong?

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

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

4. How does the story of Jia Rui teach a lesson about undue lust?

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

6. What can we understand from Zhen Shi-yin's dream in the first chapter?

7. 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?

8. How does the author make it clear in Chapter 1 that the reader should expect an element of the supernatural in the novel?

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. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is the society portrayed in the novel shown to be strongly familial? In your answer, comment upon the familial influences felt by Bao-yu.

Essay Topic 2

How does the author use the setting of the Prospect Garden as a key location in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Explore the ways the author uses characters' names as a medium by which to say something about their personalities or character.

(see the answer keys)

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