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 does the homeless man who sees Jensen digging in the trash offer him?

2. When does Jensen say that his conversation with the coyotes began?

3. What characterizes the Semai people?

4. What does Jensen wish about his childhood?

5. About what animal does Jensen dream?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe one of the ways in which Jensen says that humans justify their actions even if these actions are cruel or make no sense.

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

4. 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?

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

6. In what way is high jumping therapeutic for Jensen?

7. Why does Jensen believe that Jesus was a feminist of sorts?

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

9. What does Jensen wonder about the ladybug pupae feel?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Jensen refers in his chapter "Seeking a Third Way" to an incident when he spoke out against a woman who disciplined her child. Do you think that Jensen acted correctly? Should others do the same? Was the mother wrong? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

In several places in the novel, Jensen questions the idea of individual ownership. For instance, when Jensen cleans his barn he wonders if he owns the mice and can do with them as he wishes just because he owns the barn. What is your opinion of this idea of personal ownership? What can be owned and what cannot?

(see the answer keys)

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