The Crying of Lot 49 Test | Final 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 the Nefastis Machine do?

2. Who does Oedipa try to call from a phone booth before she heads to the bookstore?

3. According to Stanley Koteks, who are the only ones who can work the Nefastis Machine?

4. What is on the cover of the book she purchases at Zapf's Used Books?

5. Dr. Hilarius protests that if he had been a real Nazi he would have become a Jungian. Instead, he chose to follow __________.

Short Essay Questions

1. In addition to visiting John Nefastis, why does Oedipa need to go to Berkeley?

2. Bortz hands Oedipa an ancient book about the Italian travels of Dr. Diocletian Blobb. What does this story have to do with the Trystero?

3. What is significant about the fact that the founder of Tristero, Hernando Joaquin de Tristero y Calavera, called himself The Disinherited?

4. How is the campus of Cal State different from when Oedipa was in college?

5. Why does Oedipa consider her job as co-executor to be similar to Driblette's job as director of a play?

6. At the end of Chapter 4, Genghis Cohen explains to Oedipa that the dandelion wine is clear now, but becomes cloudy in the spring when the dandelions begin to bloom, as if the dandelions in the wine remembered. What does Oedipa muse about this?

7. Why are WASTE mail boxes located under freeways?

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

9. Oedipa discovers that the line from Driblette's version in Plays of Ford, Webster, Tourneur and Wharfinger about Trystero was replaced by another referring to what?

10. Describe the Nefastis Machine as it was explained by Stanley Koteks.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Oedipa's search for truth leads her to visit, along with Metzger, the Paranoids and their girlfriends, Inverarity's housing development, and Fangoso Lagoons.

1) Explain the significance of this setting to the thematic aspects of the novel.

2) Describe how the characters themselves and their actions in this scene embody certain themes of the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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