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 does Oedipa see scribbled on the wall of the ladies' room at the bar she is in with Metzger and Mike Fallopian?

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

3. What does Oedipa ask questions about in order to play the game with Metzger?

4. Fallopian tells Metzger that what two ideas are part of the same creeping horror?

5. Where does Metzger come upon the actor who plays him in the TV pilot while exploring Fangoso Lagoons?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does the manager of the Echo Courts think Oedipa is trying to seduce him?

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

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 the larger setting of The Crying of Lot 49?

6. Describe the manager of the Echo Courts Motel.

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

8. When did Pierce Inverarity die?

9. What was strange about Pierce Inverarity's call to Oedipa a year ago?

10. Why does Oedipa think it is possible that her search for Tristero may be a hoax created by Pierce Inverarity?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Crying of Lot 49 mixes elements taken from several different genres, or types of literature. Discuss each of these in terms of its use in the novel.

1) The picaresque novel, such as Don Quixote

2) The Jacobean and Elizabethan revenge plays, such as Hamlet

3) Mythology

4) Fairytales

5) Historical texts

Essay Topic 2

How is Oedipa figured as a modern Rapunzel locked in a tower from which no prince can free her? How does Pynchon repeatedly emphasize that what confines her is visited upon her from outside? How does this mystery of what constitutes this malignant external force drive the entire narrative of The Crying of Lot 49?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss how Chapter 4 of The Crying of Lot 49 shows Oedipa involved in a process of meaning creation. Give at least four specific examples from events in the chapter.

(see the answer keys)

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