The Crying of Lot 49 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 name of the actor who will play Metzger in a pilot for a TV series?

2. What is at the center of the intricate plot of the play Oedipa and Metzger go to see?

3. In a letter from a legal firm, what does Pierce Inverarity request Oedipa do for him?

4. What is in the pond at the center of Fangoso Lagoons?

5. Who wins the bet about the movie Oedipa and Metzger are watching while staying at the motel?

Short Essay Questions

1. As Oedipa seeks a motel to escape the illusion of speed and freedom that driving provides, to what does she compare the road?

2. The overall crisis Oedipa faces by the end of the novel could be summed up how?

3. Describe the Nefastis Machine as it was explained by Stanley Koteks.

4. Oedipa discovers that the line from Driblette's version in Plays of Ford, Webster, Tourneur and Wharfinger about Trystero was replaced by another referring to what?

5. How did Mucho Maas feel about the used cars his customers brought in for trade-in?

6. Inamorati Anonymous' association to the muted post horn symbol seems purely accidental, yet what are some similarities this group has to the Tristero?

7. What is meant by Oedipa seeing Genghis Cohen, the philatelist, framed in a long succession of doorways?

8. What is the story behind the founding of Inamorati Anonymous?

9. Why does the moment Oedipa sees San Narciso from a hilltop have a religious quality to her?

10. Oedipa compares her search for The Tristero to what process?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Pynchon bases Oedipa Maas on the Greek Myth of Oedipus.

1) Give a synopsis of the Oedipus Myth.

2) Compare the character of Oedipa to that of Oedipus. How are their struggles similar? What larger theme is Pynchon conveying with the use of the myth?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss how Chapter 4 of The Crying of Lot 49 shows Oedipa involved in a process of meaning creation. Give at least four specific examples from events in the chapter.

Essay Topic 3

Fate is a dominant theme in The Crying of Lot 49. 1) Discuss this theme throughout the novel. 2) How is Oedipa trying to find out the fate of America, not just her own fate?

(see the answer keys)

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