Cat's Cradle 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 is the population of San Lorenzo, according to the newspaper supplement in Chapter 38?

2. What college is Newt Hoenikker attending when the narrator writes to him in Chapter 4?

3. On what vessel did Bokonon travel from his home island to London in 1911?

4. When does Dr. Breed describe the man being hung that had killed 26 people in Chapter 13?

5. In what fraternity was the narrator a member during his college years?

Short Essay Questions

1. What statements does the author make about nihilism in Chapter 36?

2. How does Bokononism influence the language style of the novel?

3. How does Newt Hoenikker describe his interaction with his father on the day the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima?

4. How is Miss Pefko characterized in the novel?

5. What is significant about the metaphor of cannonballs in the narrative?

6. What statement do you think that Vonnegut is making in regards to politics and science in Cat's Cradle?

7. How does fate bring the narrator to San Lorenzo?

8. What is ironic about the scientific work done for the military at the General Forge and Foundry Company?

9. How is the theory of "Dynamic Tension" described in Chapter 47?

10. Describe the narrative style of Cat's Cradle. Why do you think the author employs this style?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the language style of Cat's Cradle. What are examples of fictional words from The Books of Bokonon, and what do they mean? Discuss the philosophy behind this religion. How does this religion impact the novel's language style?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Kurt Vonnegut's use of literary, religious, and historical allusions in Cat's Cradle. What are examples of literary works alluded to in the novel? How do these works relate to Cat's Cradle in terms of theme, character, setting, etc.? What purpose do the allusions serve in the narrative?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the book The Day the World Ended. What was this book initially to be about? What does it end up being about? What irony can be seen in this book and its title?

(see the answer keys)

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