Ideas for Reports and Papers

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 444

1. In most cultures and communities, who are the people who take up "the religious life" in one form or another? Is this avocation different for those who live in a cloister or from those who minister in the community?

2. What are the necessary elements for a quest story?...

(The entire section contains 444 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Dance of the Snow Dragon study guide. You'll get access to all of the Dance of the Snow Dragon content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Teaching Guide
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

1. In most cultures and communities, who are the people who take up "the religious life" in one form or another? Is this avocation different for those who live in a cloister or from those who minister in the community?

2. What are the necessary elements for a quest story? What is sought during a quest? What does the protagonist find by the end of the quest? How is a quest resolved?

3. Outline parallels between Dance of the Snow Dragon and the Grail Quest of Percival. What elements make each story unique? What elements are common to both stories?

4. What does Joseph Campbell say about the nature of heroes and quests in his book Hero with a Thousand Faces? Take Sangay and his quest through the analysis that Campbell makes of myths. Is Sangay a hero by Campbell's definition?

5. When one son from each family is sent to become a monk, is that considered conscription? What parallels are there between being sent to become a monk and being drafted into the army? For what are these young monks being prepared? What is the effect upon the community to have one boy from each family cloistered in a monastery?

6. Compare the short story "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Arthur C. Clarke with Dance of the Snow Dragon. Why are there so many story elements in common? Can you discover any indication that Kernaghan has read Clarke's story? What differences does it make that there are Western men in the short story?

7. Create a sound experience of a morning in Sangay's training as a monk, either as an audio recording or a live performance. Include such elements as chanting mantras, turning prayer wheels, and fluttering prayer flags, as well as the sounds of polishing brass, sweeping floors, and other mundane duties of the young monks. A live performance could include a Tibetan garment or cloth displayed for color, or perhaps burning incense and juniper, and also clarified butter in small lamps for scent. Consider preparing a written hand-out to accompany the sound experience, detailing each element included.

8. Compare and contrast animism with Christian beliefs. Are there any similarities between a patron saint and a genius loci? As Christian beliefs became more widespread across Europe, what faiths were being replaced?

9. Write a short story about a young person making a spiritual journey, based on the teachings of your own faith. This story should be comparable in length to the first two chapters of Dance of the Snow Dragon, rather than to the entire novel. Consider having the young person enter a cloister or a program of religious studies, or perhaps take a journey in the wider world.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Dance of the Snow Dragon Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Next

Topics for Discussion