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, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Bao-yu seek Dai-yu's company in Chapter 19?

2. Who scolds Aroma for not getting up when she enters a room?

3. What happens to Jia Zheng's dislike for Bao-yu towards the end of the novel?

4. Who does the Prince of Bei-jing ask to meet?

5. What is purchased for Yuan-chun's first visit to her garden?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Bao-yu show increasing maturity in his response to the quarrels among his female companions?

3. What superstition in Chapter 21 is shown to be false?

4. Discuss Yuan-chun's reaction upon her first visit home.

5. How do the servants of the house react to Qin-shi's death?

6. How does Xiang-yun's presence lead Bao-yu to think more highly of Bao-chai?

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

8. Analyze Bao-yu's interactions with his father Jia Zheng during the naming party.

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

10. How does the family express their bereavement of and Qin-shi's death to the public?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Destiny and predestination is a central theme throughout the novel. What narrative devices does the author utilize to maintain the reader's interest in this idea through an atmosphere of inevitability that pervades the novel's subtext?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the role of sex and sexuality in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

What is the author's reasoning behind having such a large number of important and clearly defined characters? Illustrate your answer with examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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