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. The rock group, The Paranoids, is a take off on what famous band?

2. What type of business is Hogan's Seraglio in downtown San Narciso?

3. How did Oedipa know Pierce Inverarity?

4. Dr. Hilarius's insistence that Oedipa take part in the experiment reminds Oedipa of what?

5. After thinking about Inverarity for the afternoon in Chapter 1, what does Oedipa suddenly remember?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Oedipa mean in Chapter 1 when she tells Dr. Hilarius that she is already having hallucinations?

2. In his phone call to Oedipa a year ago, what did Pierce Inverarity say about Mucho?

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

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

5. Describe the manager of the Echo Courts Motel.

6. When did Pierce Inverarity die?

7. What was strange about Pierce Inverarity's call to Oedipa a year ago?

8. According to Mike Fallopian, what eventually happened to Peter Pinguid?

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

10. How does Oedipa imagine Pierce Inverarity might have died?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The larger setting of The Crying of Lot 49 is the United States in the era of the counter-culture, the 1960s, when experimentation with psychedelic drugs was rife and identity crises pervasive. The problem the novel presents is the crisis of meaning present in modern life. Choose one of the four ways this theme manifests itself throughout the novel. Discuss it thoroughly with events and characters.

1) Identity crises

2) Relationship and sexuality problems

3) Injustice in the economic system

4) Loss of cultural consensus as to what constitutes truth

Essay Topic 2

Discuss how the meaninglessness of modern life is a central thematic strand to the narrative of The Crying of Lot 49.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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