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 has Oedipa noticed about her life before she embarks on her journey?

2. What happens when a heavy, pale young man carrying a mail sack appears in the doorway of the bar where Oedipa and Metzger are talking to Mike Fallopian?

3. What does Oedipa tell Dr. Hilarius that she doesn't trust?

4. When Oedipa goes backstage, Driblette tells her that words are like what?

5. What is the name of the manager of the Echo Courts Motel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Where did Tony Jaguar get the bones that he sold to Beaconsfield Cigarettes?

4. As Oedipa seeks a motel to escape the illusion of speed and freedom that driving provides, to what does she compare the road?

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

6. Describe the manager of the Echo Courts Motel.

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

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

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

10. When did Pierce Inverarity die?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Fate is a dominant theme in The Crying of Lot 49. 1) Discuss this theme throughout the novel. 2) How is Oedipa trying to find out the fate of America, not just her own fate?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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