A Language Older Than Words Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Derrick Jensen
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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 did Bruce Stewart feel for his mother because of his school experience?

2. What types of books were Jensen's family members allowed to read on the Sabbath?

3. With what is Lake Coeur d'Alene contaminated?

4. What does Jensen indicate is the key to interspecies communication?

5. What question does Jensen want answered while he is in school?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jensen's father rationalize the fact that he beats the members of his family?

2. What does one of Jensen's scientific friends tell Jensen that would have to happen for her to believe that communication between species actually took place?

3. How does Jensen interpret his dreams of fishing?

4. What is the original meaning of the word "economics?"

5. In what ways does Jensen write in the chapter "The Safety of Metaphor" that the salmon and humans are similar?

6. Why does Jensen say that he can provide no scientific verification for conversations between humans and nonhumans?

7. Why does Jensen want to blow up a dam?

8. What activities do Jensen's students participate in during his creative writing class and what is the purpose of these activities?

9. What is significant about Jensen's dream about the cranes?

10. Why does Jensen say that economics textbooks should be written in blood?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the idea that some cultures do not thrive on violence but instead discourage it. Why do these cultures disappear?

Essay Topic 2

In his research with plants, Cleve Backster discovers that plants are affected by certain stimuli. What, in your opinion, does the outcome of this research mean? Why is it significant? Why was it so important to Jensen that he be able to witness a response from a plant instead of just taking Backster's word that it had happened?

Essay Topic 3

If, as Jensen suggests that it might, human civilization finally causes the destruction of the world, what do you think the outcome will be? Do you agree with either of Jensen's conclusions as suggested in the final chapter of the novel or do you believe there is another option available?

(see the answer keys)

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