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. Who calms Bao-yu down when he makes a scene after his visit with Bao-chai?

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

3. What does the doctor believe about his patient's prognosis at the end of Chapter 10?

4. These four friends including Darling and Precious often communicated with each other during studies in a way that they thought _____.

5. What do Bao-yu and Xi-feng hear as they leave the Ning Mansion?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Why would Dai-yu find it strange that Xi-feng appears to be in charge of household affairs?

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

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

5. How does the author establish karma as a central theme in Chapter 1?

6. In what ways are fear of shame and being poor seen in Chapter 6?

7. How does the connection between Bao-yu and Bao-chai deepen in Chapter 7?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Because he is won over and particularly moved by the story of the stone, it could be said that Vanitas (later Brother Amor) is the character readers should identify with most. Comment upon this idea, explaining in the process how or why the story is "not just another erotic romance" as the stone itself says.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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