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 will Oedipa have revelations about as she completes her task for Pierce Inverarity?

2. What does Oedipa ask questions about in order to play the game with Metzger?

3. Who saves Oedipa, Metzger and their friends after they are stranded on the island in the middle of Fangoso Lagoons?

4. What is unusual about Beaconsfield Cigarettes?

5. What is on the huge sign advertising the Echo Courts Motel?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the larger setting of The Crying of Lot 49?

3. Who was the Peter Pinguid Society named for?

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

5. What is suggested by the name of Oedipa's psychiatrist, Dr. Hilarius?

6. Why can't Mucho Maas drink honey in his coffee?

7. When did Pierce Inverarity die?

8. What is Mike Fallopian trying to prove in his history of private mail delivery in the U.S.?

9. Why is Di Presso hiding in a boat at Fangoso Lagoons to avoid his client?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the overall theme of the breakdown of communication on the societal level. How was it symbolized and explored throughout the novel? Compare this to how communication breaks down on a personal level for Oedipa.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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