The Crying of Lot 49 Test | 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

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

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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