Beware of Pity Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Stefan Zweig
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why is Hofmiller uncomfortable when he first arrives at the dinner party?
(a) He arrives late and doesn't know any of the other guests.
(b) He doesn't like the food that is being served.
(c) He arrives an hour early.
(d) He is dressed inappropriately.

2. How does Hofmiller react when he sees Ilona in the street after taking a night away from the family to play cards with his friends?
(a) He is thrilled to see her on his own turf and asks her to go for a walk or to the patisserie.
(b) He seems embarrassed and tries to avoid her.
(c) He is excited about the opportunity to introduce her to his friends.
(d) He is upset that she has apparently left Edith alone.

3. Why does Edith not dance with Hofmiller?
(a) Her father doesn't allow her to dance.
(b) She is disabled and can't use her legs.
(c) She is too shy.
(d) Her boyfriend doesn't want her to dance with another man.

4. What aspect of Hofmiller's background makes him especially grateful for the warm welcome he continues to receive at the Kekesfalva's home?
(a) He has been raised in an orphanage, so he begins to think of Kekesfalva as a father figure.
(b) He has been brought up in military institutions, so he loves the homey feeling of their house and family.
(c) He has been brought up in a wealthy home, so he feels comfortable and at ease with the family's wealth.
(d) His parents are servants of a wealthy family, so he likes turning the tables by having servants wait on him.

5. Why does Hofmiller tell Kekesfalva about the promising new treatment Dr. Condor mentioned?
(a) He feels pity for Kekesfalva and knows he will not be satisfied unless Hofmiller gives him some promising news.
(b) Kekesfalva had read about the treatment in the newspaper and wants to know if Dr. Condor has looked into it.
(c) Hofmiller hopes to take credit for finding out about the treatment if it proves effective for Edith.
(d) Kekesfalva says Dr. Condor had mentioned it previously and now he wants more details.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Kekesfalva apologizes for his daughter's rude behavior, how does he describe Edith when she was a child?

2. Why does Hofmiller try to keep his two worlds - his life in the military and his relationship with the Kekesfalva family - separate from each other?

3. The night after his friends tease him about his relationship with Kekesfalva and his family, Hofmiller does not go to the castle. How does he feel about his decision to stay away?

4. When telling him about the potential treatment for Edith, what does Hofmiller finally end up promising Kekesfalva?

5. According to the book's introduction by Joan Acocella, why was the author, Stefan Zweig, so interested in the inner workings of the human mind?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Hofmiller's report to Kekesfalva differ from the actual information he was given by Dr. Condor?

2. Describe the circumstances under which Kekesfalva ended up marrying Dietzenhof.

3. Although Edith often seems to behave childishly with regard to her disability, how does her talk with Hofmiller about his failure to appear for dinner show her maturity?

4. Why does Kekesfalva want Hofmiller to talk with Dr. Condor about Edith's condition rather than talking to the doctor himself?

5. What is the difference between how Hofmiller initially feels about Ilona and how he feels about Edith?

6. How does Hofmiller's upbringing lead him to respond when he receives a dinner invitation from Kekesfalva?

7. How does Hofmiller's decision to have his men trot rather than gallop their horses reflect the title of the book?

8. Although Hofmiller finds himself enjoying his new sense of power and the comfort of being with with the Kekesfalva family, what keeps him from enjoying those feelings completely?

9. After having a chance to speak with each other privately, how do Hofmiller and Dr. Condor change their initial impressions of each other?

10. Describe how Kekesfalva got off on the wrong foot with Dietzenhof when they first met.

(see the answer keys)

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