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

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

3. How did Oedipa know Pierce Inverarity?

4. What does Metzger complain about when Oedipa tells him she is going backstage after the play?

5. What does Funch, Mucho's boss, tell Mucho he is going to do in the first chapter of the novel?

Short Essay Questions

1. How can electronic music be performed live at The Scope bar?

2. How is the sign advertising the Echo Courts in the likeness of Marilyn Monroe?

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

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

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

6. What aspect of Mucho's job does Oedipa compare to a religious officiant conducting a ceremony?

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

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

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

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

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

Satire is the literary criticism of people and society through ridicule. Pynchon gives a satirical view of many of society's institutions in The Crying of Lot 49. Choose two of the following and discuss the use of each fully through characters, setting, plot and theme.

1) Law and lawyers

2) Psychiatry

3) Industrial corporations

4) Universities and scholarly research

5) Federal institutions such as the postal system

6) Urban sprawl

7) American pop culture

8) Capitalism

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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