Darkness at Noon 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 principle does Ivanov says governs political ethics?

2. What does No. 402 call No. 406?

3. What does Ivanov say Rubashov will do when Gletkin asks Ivanov in the canteen?

4. What does Richard say about the material the Party sent him to distribute?

5. What does the officer handing out breakfast tell the warden is missing in Rubashov’s cell?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the agriculturist killed?

2. Why does Rubashov feel guilty about Arlova’s death?

3. How does rub meet Prisoner 406 and what does the 406 show Rubashov?

4. How does Rubashov respond to the evidence and charges Ivanov presents? What is Ivanov’s response?

5. How does Rubashov pass his time in the his cell?

6. What does Rubashov do after he is told he will get no breakfast?

7. What does Rubashov tell the warden when he is asked why he is not out of bed? What is the warden’s reply?

8. Why does Rubashov think he is unable to hate No. 1?

9. How is Rubashov given a chance to exercise? How is that carried out?

10. What does Little Loewy tell Rubashov about Loewy’s life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not? Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as Darkness at Noon help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading Darkness at Noon? Why or why not? Use examples from Darkness at Noon to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Characters are an important part of what makes Darkness at Noon interesting. Discuss the following:

Thoroughly discuss and analyze Rubashov. What are his strengths and weaknesses? How does he contribute to the plot? Is he a sympathetic character? Is he usually likable? Seldom likable? Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas. Use the same criteria to thoroughly discuss and analyze No. 402 and Gletkin.

Essay Topic 3

A prisoner in cell 406 was arrested in his country for communist activities. After 25 years in prison, he is pardoned. He is taken to the station by friends and sent to Russia, his life-long dream. In Russia he is arrested and put in prison. In prison he keeps insisting his friends put him on the wrong train and that someday he will get to Russia and be free.

Discuss the way in which prisoner 406 uses denial of his situation in order to mentally/emotionally survive circumstances which directly oppose what the prisoner has believed most of his life and had spent 25 years in prison for believing. Use examples from Darkness at Noon to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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