The Crying of Lot 49 Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

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 2

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 3

What is the myth of Echo and Narcissus? How is it represented in the setting, characters and themes of The Crying of Lot 49?

(see the answer keys)

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