Cutting for Stone Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Abraham Verghese
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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. In what physical condition are the twins?

2. Who does Ghosh decide to visit?

3. What is Ghosh doing as Sister Mary Praise is dying?

4. What does Hema shout at Stone?

5. Who is weeping in the operating room?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Ghosh explain to the man with stomach pain, and what does he realize about the man?

2. What happens when Dr. Stone is close to death?

3. Why does Eli Harris call Matron?

4. What happens when Hema first rushes into the operating room?

5. Why does the Emperor call the hospital?

6. What does Hema realize almost instantly in the operating room, and what does she shout at Stone? What is his response?

7. What devastates Mary about the boat trip, and what does Dr. Stone ask her when they reach Addis Ababa? What is Mary's response to his question?

8. How does Mary end up at Missing Hospital?

9. Why does Rosina run to the palace during the beginning of the coup?

10. What confuses Hema for a moment about Gebrew's message?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Abraham Verghese.

2. What in Verghese's background may have helped him in writing "Cutting for Stone"? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by "Cutting for Stone", questions that Verghese most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Verghese' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Verghese' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Verghese and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and sometimes it is the other way around. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "Cutting for Stone" is? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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