A Canticle for Leibowitz Test | Mid-Book 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 does the sign Brother Francis finds beneath the rocks in Chapter 1 say?

2. Why doesn't Francis open the racing form?

3. Why does Taddeo want to look at the documents the Albertine Order of Leibowitz has?

4. How much weight has Francis lost during his vigil?

5. How long does Francis remain a novitiate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Francis's life before the monastery.

2. What was Isaac Edward Leibowitz's profession before the Flame Deluge?

3. What physical characteristics to Minnesotans have, and what is the likely cause of them?

4. What is the implication of the wry smile on Fingo's statue of Leibowitz?

5. Why are a shopping list and casual notes treasured finds for Brother Francis?

6. Describe Brother Kornhoer's invention.

7. What did Leibowitz do after the Flame Deluge?

8. Why do the monks wear burlap habits?

9. Why is the find of Emily Leibowitz's skull important to the case for the canonization of Leibowitz?

10. In what way is Brother Francis's motivation selfish?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the nature of knowledge in the novel.

Part 1) What do the Memorabilia represent? Why do the monks want to preserve it?

Part 2) Is knowledge good or evil or neutral? What are the consequences, positive and negative, of mankind's gaining of knowledge? How does knowledge in the novel relate to the story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man for tasting the fruit of the tree of knowledge?

Part 3) Can knowledge be permanently lost?

Essay Topic 2

Taddeo believes that he finds evidence that the current human race was a created race of servants, inferior to the great civilization of the past. His own personal view of humanity colors how he views this evidence. Discuss the way that personal points of view affect the interpretation of evidence and events throughout the novel. Include in your discussion Francis, Cheroki, and Arkos' reactions to the discovery of the Fallout Shelter; Paulo, Taddeo, and Armbruster's reactions to the electric light; and Zerchi's reaction to reports of movements or responses from Mrs. Grales' second head, Rachel.

Essay Topic 3

Does the novel contain miracles, or is it ambiguous? Describe in your discussion possible miraculous events in the novel, including the life of the Old Jew and the actions of Rachel at the end of the novel. What are the possible natural explanations of these events? If these events are miraculous, what is their purpose and meaning, and what do they say about the nature of God?

(see the answer keys)

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