Einstein's Dreams Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Alan Lightman
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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 the last image readers are left with at the end of the "15 May 1905" dream?

2. What does the narrator want readers to consider in the "3 May 1905" dream?

3. What is the name of Einstein's wife?

4. According to the narrator, people in their correct time period do not make contact with those from the future. How are those from the future looked at?

5. What is the tragedy of the world described in the "10 May 1905" dream?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe how the world is described in the 19 April 1905 dream.

2. Describe the people who live by "mechanical time."

3. Why does the man at the graveside refuse to weep for his deceased friend?

4. Why do people in the 26 April 1905 dream choose to live in the mountains?

5. What happens one month before the world ends?

6. How did the notion of the speed effect come to be known?

7. According to the 3 June 1905 dream, describe how a person born in December exists.

8. Describe the cafe that stands on the corner of Kramgasse and Theaterplatz.

9. How is pride created for inhabitants of cites in the 20 June 1905 dream world?

10. Describe Einstein's appearance at the patent office.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Reread the "8 May 1905" dream. Given the similar state of our world today (12-12-12 end of the world), whether you believe that the end of the world coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar, do you believe the movements described in the novel are believable? Why or why not? How do you think the period of time described in the novel should be spent? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

The end of the novel can be very confusing for some readers. Einstein is said to feel empty after giving his theory to the typist.

- For those readers that were confused by this, discuss why this statement is confusing. What makes you confused about the ending? What could have been done to help you understand the reasoning behind the ending?

- For those readers that were not confused by the ending, discuss the ending for you. Why did ending the novel this way bring closure for you? How did this ending make sense for you as a reader?

Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 3

Consider the representation of time and dreams in the novel. Can you find any links that actualize the parallels between dreams and time? Cite three examples from the text that show commonalities between dreams and time. Discuss these parallels in a comparison essay.

(see the answer keys)

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