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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 statue at the mercy camp resemble?
2. How does Taddeo react to the stories of monks who have died or gone blind preserving the Memorabilia?
3. What does the Old Jew, Benjamin, do when Paulo comes to return his goat?
4. Why does Mad Bear stop raiding Hannegan?
5. What does Paulo tell Kornhoer?
Short Essay Questions
1. What shocks the abbot most about Kornhoer's invention?
2. What is Armbruster's attitude toward books and toward Taddeo's studies?
3. Why can't Cors keep his promise to Zerchi?
4. Why is the APLAC a necessary device?
5. Why is Paulo opposed to euthanasia?
6. Why does Paulo feel like a shoemaker in a village of shoemakers?
7. Who is eligible for euthanasia?
8. Why doesn't Taddeo want to alienate Hannegan?
9. What power does New Rome give Joshua's colony, in the event of the destruction of the Earth?
10. What is the likely reason Taddeo does not arrive on time at the monastery?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Discuss the Old Jew.
Part 1) What is the Old Jew's true identity? Can you make a case for more than one possible identity? What evidence is there for his identity?
Part 2) What role does he play in the story? Why is he in all three parts of the novel?
Essay Topic 2
The novel presents dreams, impressions, and myths of the characters, such as the abbot's dream about Rachel, Joshua's impression of the possible snake in the garden, Zerchi's hallucinations as he is dying, and myths about the Great Deluge and Leibowitz. How can the reader and the characters tell the truth from human perception or myth? In what way, or ways, are these perceptions and myths real? In what way or ways are they false?
Essay Topic 3
What is the nature and meaning of ritual in the novel? What is the purpose of the elaborate ritual of canonization, although the Pope and Vatican are poor? What are the rituals of the monks, and do they serve to preserve knowledge or to hide it? What is the purpose of Francis' ritual fast in the desert? Are these and other rituals in the novel effective? What happens when ritual loses its original meaning?
This section contains 813 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)