Democracy 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 is Harry Victor's first governmental office?

2. What was the subject of the novel that Didion abandoned?

3. To what city is Inez referring when she quotes "Colors, moisture, heat..." (16)?

4. In Chapter 10, what nickname does Inez protest she has never been called?

5. Which of the following characters does not accompany Harry Victor to Jakarta in 1969?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are the nuclear detonations in the Pacific more memorable than those in Nevada to Jack Lovett?

2. How does Inez react to her family in this chapter?

3. What seems ridiculous to Billy Dillon about his conversation with Dick Ziegler?

4. Does Inez ever consider leaving Harry Victor?

5. How is Wendell Omura connected to Dick Ziegler?

6. Describe Janet Christian's interview in Chapter 10.

7. What does Billy Dillon want from Frank Tawagata?

8. What is the world political situation as Inez Victor and Jack Lovett talk in Chapter 1?

9. What off-message statement does Inez make to an Associated Press reporter in Chapter 7?

10. What eventually occupies Inez's time while she is in Washington with Harry?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Joan Didion 's style of writing is perhaps most often described as cold, objective, and bloodless. It reflects her background as a journalist. Write an essay in three parts, examining how her narrative style affects the way she presents the shattering events of Democracy. How does she deny her characters a clear emotional life? How does this affect the way these violent and passionate events occur? How does it affect the reader's reaction to them?

Part 1) Jessie Victor's drug addiction.

Part 2) Paul Christian's shootings.

Part 3) Inez Victor's affair and her decision to leave her family.

Essay Topic 2

Living beneath the surface of the narrative is the end of the Vietnam War. In the first half of the novel, Didion makes explicit mention of the Fall of Saigon. Write an essay about this historical moment becomes incredibly important both thematically and in terms of the narrative. Which characters are personally involved in the end of the war? How does defeat in Vietnam ripple through the lives of the characters in the novel and through the history it dramatizes?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay examining the local political situation leading to the Paul Christian killings. Focus on the relationships between the following two people: Wendell Omura and Janet Ziegler, Dwight Christian and Dick Ziegler, and Wendell Omura and Dick Ziegler. What business transactions unite these people? What litigation and what personal affairs? How does the Paul Christian shooting effectively resolve these conflicts? Is it actually connected to the affairs?

(see the answer keys)

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