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. What will Hong learn from Tang Wangai at the tomb?

2. How is Hong tortured?

3. Where does Chen rank for the last exam?

4. What does the ship do in its next port?

5. Where does Hong put the letters he has?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens as Hong is with the army about Wang Chih and the outpost where he was held?

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

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

4. What does Hong decide to do after Chen takes a position and what does Sun Qi give Hong?

5. What does Hong do while Chen is studying?

6. How far do the brothers take the Grand Canal, and what are they told at the end of it? What do they decide to do about the information?

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

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

9. Why is General Ma disappointed about Hong and what does he invite Hong to do?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "The Examination" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "The Examination" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The scholars are asked to write on a single question, supposedly composed by the emperor himself. The question is "What does 'good' mean in the social order?" Chen is torn, because his own personal experiences seem to conflict with what he has learned through scholarship. He begins to write about his own experiences from his journey, but changes his mind and composes an essay on what makes a good leader.

1. Why do you think Chen's experience on his journey might conflict with his academic knowledge? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Why do you think Chen's experiences might be a good answer to the question about good? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. What influence do you think a good leader has on social order? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "The Examination" is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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