Democracy Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is the helicopter engineer back in Vietnam after two years in the US?

2. Why does one of Janet Ziegler's son's not attend her funeral?

3. How many flat electroencephalograms are required for Janet to be pronounced dead?

4. According to news reports in Chapter 1, how is Paul Christian wounded?

5. On what holiday do Jack Lovett and Inez Victor travel to Hong Kong?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Perhaps the most central relationship of DEMOCRACY is that between the author and the reader. Didion - and her alter ego, the narrator - continually indicates that she is not going to honor the unspoken agreement of this relationship. Write an essay about this relationship in three parts:

Part 1) In what respect is Democracy not the narrator's first choice for a novel? What did Didion supposedly attempt to write before she settled on the story of Inez Victor and Jack Lovett?

Part 2) The narrator regularly uses conditional and hypothetical language when describing events in the story. What does this indicate simultaneously about her relationship with those events and with the reader?

Part 3) The order in which the story of DEMOCRACY is told is not chronological. Why do you think Didion chooses to structure the story this way? What does it deny to reader and what does it provide?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the character of Billy Dillon. Focus on his professional aspirations and how his personal feeling are interconnected with his professional life. To what extent is his relationship with Inez Victor a mixture of professional duty and romantic infatuation? What does Inez finally do to alienate Dillon? At the end of the novel, how has Billy Dillon's life been changed by the events of 1975?

Essay Topic 3

The actual plot of DEMOCRACY only begins about halfway through the novel. The preceding chapters provide reams of expository information and tantalizing clues as to what is to come. Write an essay analyzing the narrative structure of the novel. What does Didion achieve with the unorthodox structure? How does the first half of the novel prepare the reader for the plot to follow? What question does it raise? Are all of them answered by the end of the book?

(see the answer keys)

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