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 Oedipa worried about as she receives a letter from Mucho in Chapter 3?

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

3. As the novel begins, Mrs. Oedipa Maas arrives home from where?

4. In the car after Oedipa and Metzger leave the theater, who do they hear on KCUF radio?

5. What is the reason for Tony Jaguar's lawsuit against Pierce Inverarity?

Short Essay Questions

1. What causes Oedipa to realize that every source of information on the Tristero can somehow be traced to Inverarity?

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

3. When Oedipa and Metzger go back to The Scope in Chapter 4, Mike Fallopian explains that there exists what kind of underground group?

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

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

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

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

8. Why does Nefastis contend that only a sensitive person can work his machine?

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Give a definition of allegory and then discuss the allegorical aspects of the setting and characters of The Crying of Lot 49.

Essay Topic 2

The possible crime related to Inverarity's estate, the use of GI bones, is coupled to a Jacobean play about crimes also set in Italy, The Courier's Tragedy. Discuss how the themes of the novel are echoed in the play, as well as referencing the literary significance of Pynchon's use of a play-within-a-play.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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