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. From what country is the family this story is about?

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

3. When Bao-yu visits the Department of the Ill-Fated Fair, what is he allowed to look at?

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

5. What is the subject of the conversation Zhen Shi-yin overhears in his dream?

Short Essay Questions

1. Despite his limited presence, what becomes clear about Bao-yu during the first few episodes that involve him?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is the framing story of the stone's background an effective foundation for the author to build the rest of the action upon?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following characters and discuss his or her relationship with and impact upon Bao-yu.

• Xi-feng

• Aroma

• Qin-shi

• Qin Zhong

(see the answer keys)

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