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. According to the narrator, what do parents treasure given they think they may not witness it again?

2. While walking with Einstein, during the Interlude, what does Besso wonder about?

3. To take advantage of what scientists have discovered in the past, what have some people done to their homes?

4. According to the narrator, what is the room full of?

5. What song is the young man humming as he waits for the typist to come into the office?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the untidy people of the 11 May 1905 world do in life?

2. What happens one minute before the end of the world?

3. Why do schools close one year before the end of the world?

4. Why is there no communication between people of the present and people from the future? (16 April 1905)

5. Explain what the following statement means: Each time is true, but the truths are not the same.

6. What are the benefits of a world in which time is absolute?

7. How does Einstein's desk differ from the others in the patent office?

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

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

10. At the end of the 26 April 1905 dream, what are the negative effects of living in the mountains?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the fact that the novel takes place over two hours of "real time." What is the importance of this fact? Given that the novel describes many different aspects of time, how does the novel support the multiple theories or does it actually play against the theme of time? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the formatting of the novel. Choose one of the following prompts discussing the formatting of the novel:

- Were you confused by the dates of the chapters and the meaning behind them?

- When did you realize the chapters were describing dreams and not realities for the novel?

- Why do you believe that readers are not given more information on Einstein himself about the movement of the novel?

- Do you think that this adds to the flow of the novel or hinders the flow of it?

- What relevance does Besso play in the novel?

- Why does the reader see more of his thoughts than Einstein's?

Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 3

Reread the 3 June 1905 dream. What "problems" do you find exist in this dream? What realities could actually exist in this world and what "realities" could not? What are the forces that work against each other in this dream? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

(see the answer keys)

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