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 happens to time in the "14 May 1905" dream?

2. Where do the Swiss and English couples meet yearly?

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

4. What does the narrator want readers to suppose time is?

5. Why is the woman in the linen shop on Amthausgasse?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What happens when there is only one day until the end of the world?

4. Explain the meeting between the two couples in the 4 May 1905 dream.

5. What are the benefits of living in a world in which cause and effect are erratic?

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

7. Why does Besso think that Einstein is capable of anything?

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

9. For the world described in the 11 May 1905 dream, describe the differences between the past and the future.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the novel, do you believe the past is just as important as the present and future? Why? What evidence from the novel leads you to believe this? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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