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 dream on "24 April 1905," what happens when the two "times" meet?

2. On the last day of the world, who are the people with the unnatural smiles?

3. How many times do the St. Vincent's Cathedral bells chime at the end of the 24 April 1905 dream?

4. Where is Besso's visitor from?

5. How many dimensions does the man in the leather coat live in simultaneously?

Short Essay Questions

1. How can one identify people who have been transported back in time? (16 April 1905)

2. According to the first Interlude, why is Besso worried about Einstein?

3. What happens one month before the world ends?

4. What happens every day for the townspeople of Berne? (28 April 1905)

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

6. What is the problem living life within the confines of solitary moments? (14 April 1905)

7. Why are some people unhappy in the world where time exists as a circle?

8. Why does Besso believe that there are problems with Einstein's reasoning behind his creation of a theory of time?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Einstein's health is a major concern for Besso. Why do you believe that Besso is concerned about Einstein's health? Are there any specific examples given in the Interludes that would make one think that there was reason for Besso's concern? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

Regard the novel as a whole. What did you find meaningful or meaningless? What gave you the most to think about and why? Did any part of the novel cause you to look at life and time and redefine the actions of your own life? What parts of the novel caused this re-defining of your own life? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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