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. Where is the party Grandmother Jia and the family held?

2. Who refuses to attend the birthday party?

3. Who is suffering from a mysterious sickness at the end of Chapter 10?

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

5. Who does Bao-yu cry out to in order to help him when he is dreaming?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Dai-yu overcome with grief as she listens to the words of the actresses rehearsing in the garden?

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

3. How does the stone eventually save Bao-yu and Xi-feng?

4. In what ways are Bao-yu's intellectual abilities displayed in the events surrounding Yuan-chun's visit?

5. Explore the meaning/possible symbolism behind Bao-yu's experience in the dream in Chapter 5.

6. Who calls upon demons in a plan to "get rid of" Bao-yu and Xi-feng and why?

7. Give a reason why Xue Pan might suddenly become interested in Bao-yu.

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

9. What does Bao-yu add to the book he is reading, and how does Dai-yu respond?

10. What can be understood from the relationship between Qin Zhong and Sappy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The fact that Bao-yu eventually chooses to be with Bao-chai and not Dai-yu, his supposed predestined soulmate of the past and future, comes as a surprise. Discuss the reasons why the author would choose to take the narrative in this direction.

Essay Topic 3

"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?

(see the answer keys)

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