The Examination Test | Final Test - Hard

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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 Hong shake his walking stick at two men?

2. Why do Hong and Chen leave in haste for Beijing?

3. Who is the highest ranking minister below the emperor?

4. Why do Hong and Chen pour rice on the doorstep of a house?

5. What is Meng's occupation?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Chen is invited out by three other scholars?

2. What happens when Hong goes to deliver his letter from Ye Pan?

3. Why do the brothers stop in Qufu and who do they meet there? What does he ask them to do?

4. What do the river pirates do when they board the boat?

5. How does Wang Chih get away from the army?

6. What does Hong tell the pirates about the letters he carries?

7. Where does Hong go when he escapes the pirates and who helps him?

8. Where do the brothers finally stop after the Yellow River plain and where do they stay there?

9. What is available to Chen for a position, what is he considering and how does Hong feel about Chen making up his mind?

10. How is Hong going to get a message from Tang Wangai?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

This novel is more character driven rather than action driven, and obviously there are several characters who make the novel what it is. Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Hong and Chen. Include their goals, sense of honor, abilities and social skills.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of Chen and Shen Ding.

3. Thoroughly analyze the character of Lao Chen discussing both his strong and weak points and how both affect the outcome of the plot.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "The Examination". Consider the following questions as you write: What characters most need to grow as humans? Why? Give examples. Why characters seem to have reached close to their full emotional/mental growth? Why? Give examples What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of immaturity in "The Examination". Which characters struggle with immaturity? Why? Which characters seem really healthy emotionally/mentally? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of tradition in "The Examination". What is Chen's view of tradition? Hong's? Pan? Ma? Why is tradition important to some characters? Is anyone willing to abandon traditional viewpoints? Who? What are the positive and negative aspects to tradition?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of "The Examination", identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in "The Examination". (They may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not.

4. Many writers and critics say there are only a few plots in the world of fiction; it's what an author does with a plot that distinguishes a mediocre book from an outstanding book. Respond to this idea, using examples from "The Examination" and other books you have read.

(see the answer keys)

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