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. What is Marion's life like as a toddler?

2. What is the man running towards the hospital carrying?

3. Why does Ghosh attach an anklet to Shiva?

4. Why does the pilot do a stunt when Hema is flying with him?

5. What question does Hema ask Stone?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Shiva like intellectually?

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

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

4. How does the family receive word about Mebratu's coup and what is the coup like initially?

5. How does Mary end up at Missing Hospital?

6. How does Dr. Stone find out Mary is pregnant?

7. What is Ghosh doing while Hema is with Mary and Dr. Stone, and how does he find out about Mary's death?

8. What is Marion and Shiva's first experience with someone dying because of not getting medical care soon enough?

9. How does Sister Mary care for Dr. Stone, and what happens while she takes care of him?

10. Why are Sister Mary and Anjali on a boat,and what happens to some of the people on the boat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "Cutting for Stone". Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in "Cutting for Stone". Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in "Cutting for Stone". Consider the death of Mike as an random act of nature, and the death of Luis as the result of conscious violence. Consider also in your answer the death of innocence in Rick from the beginning of the book to the end.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Cutting for Stone". Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Verghese chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Verghese chooses the metaphors she does?

3. Discuss Verghese's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc.), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Verghese use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme.)

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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