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. Oedipa compares Mucho's angst about his work to what?

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

3. What name does Oedipa give to her series of revelations?

4. What happens when a heavy, pale young man carrying a mail sack appears in the doorway of the bar where Oedipa and Metzger are talking to Mike Fallopian?

5. Who or what in particular does Oedipa compare herself to?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the plot of the movie that Metzger starred in as a child?

2. As she is losing the game of Strip Botticelli, what does Oedipa remove first?

3. Who was the Peter Pinguid Society named for?

4. Why does the manager of the Echo Courts think Oedipa is trying to seduce him?

5. Where did Tony Jaguar get the bones that he sold to Beaconsfield Cigarettes?

6. Why is the introduction of the Yoyodyne mail deliverer at The Scope important to the plot of The Crying of Lot 49?

7. What do the Paranoids set outside the door of Oedipa's room?

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

9. What is scribbled next to a message advertising the WASTE group on the bathroom wall of The Scope?

10. What does Oedipa do in the bathroom of the Echo Courts motel room prior to playing a game with Metzger?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain how the Nefastis Machine is used as a metaphor for language within the novel. What does the use of a complicated scientific machine convey about Pynchon's views about language and communication?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 3, Pynchon engages in explicit foreshadowing, signaled by use of the future tense. The author also speaks directly to the reader, providing knowledge of which the character remains ignorant.

1) Give specific examples of foreshadowing.

2) How is this literary device used in an ironic manner?

Essay Topic 3

One of the themes of The Crying of Lot 49 is that technology does not reveal truth. How is this demonstrated in Chapter 5? Are there other examples of this theme in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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