The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber; Volume 1: The Golden Days Test | Final Test - Hard

Cao Xueqin
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. To whose house does Bao-yu wander to to study to look at a painting that he likes?

2. What character does one of the child actors look like?

3. What does Aroma urge Bao-yu to stop eating?

4. How does Xi-feng's personality as an overbearing mistress come to light in the Ning house?

5. What wakes Xi-feng from her dream about Qin-shi?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Explore the relationship between "real" and "fantastic" worlds in the novel with a particular focus on The Land of Illusion and what influence it brings upon the main story.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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