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 develops between the three main characters of the book?

2. How does the stone feel after being left by the goddess?

3. What is the name of the goddess in the opening chapter?

4. Why does Bao-yu make a scene upon returning home from his visit with Bao-chai?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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.

3. Although the Jia family throws a spectacular birthday party for Jia Jing even though he refuses to leave the monastery to attend, much of the conversation centers on Qin-shi's puzzling illness. Hypothesize as to why this is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"In The Story of the Stone, the keeping of secrets frequently benefits all concerned." In your perception, is this statement true or false? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Dai-yu and Bao-chai. How are they similar? How are they different?

(see the answer keys)

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