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 Flaught conclude about Francis' story?

2. What term for the unlearned do the people of the Simplification embrace as a complimentary term?

3. With what does the Abbot hit Francis?

4. What is Francis' pet project as a copyist?

5. Does Francis believe the strange pilgrim was supernatural?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Taddeo's ideas about history.

2. How does Taddeo view the modern-day common man?

3. Describe the Valley of the Misborn.

4. Describe the pilgrim.

5. Why were papers burned during the Simplification?

6. What does Francis realize about the Pope and the Vatican, on examining the Pope's cassock and the surroundings closely?

7. What did Leibowitz do after the Flame Deluge?

8. Describe Francis's life before the monastery.

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

10. What does Brother Francis need to protect himself against in the desert?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel, various characters take on tasks they find worthwhile, devoting their time and energy to them. Francis spends his life making an illuminated version of the Leibowitz blueprint. Taddeo spends his life trying to understand physics and recreate the science of the past. Hannegan spends his life trying to conquer neighboring areas and expand his rule. Kornhoer attempts to recreate the technology of electric light. Zerchi fights to stop euthanasia of terminal radiation poisoning patients, while Dr. Cors tries to help patients by either treating them or recommending euthanasia. These are just a few examples; feel free to choose your own examples from the novel.

Choose two characters and their respective tasks to compare and contrast. What do the characters hope to gain from their work? What do others think of their work? What do they accomplish, and how does it live on in the future?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the Simplification.

Part 1) What were the people's motives for the Simplification? Are the goals of the Simplification desirable? What was lost and gained because of the Simplification?

Part 2) Were any of the actions of the Simplification justified?

Part 3) Are the goals of the Simplification realistic or possible?

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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