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. To what does the Zytgloggeturm pay tribute?

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

3. According to the narrator, what do people who have been transported back in time wear?

4. According to the "4 May 1905" dream, "If time and the passage of events are the same" what happens to time?

5. One day before the end of the world, how are the streets described?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. In the 22 May 1905 dream, what happens for those who have not seen a glimpse of their future yet?

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

6. What is the young woman at no. 27 Viktoriastrasse doing right before she thrusts herself into the future?

7. Why does the young man in the 17 June 1905 dream leave his lover and tell her he cannot see her again?

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

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

10. How does the narrator describe a world without a future?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

On the back of the novel, James Gleick is quoted for the novel saying, "No novelist, physicist, or philosopher has offered such a wonderful vision of what time has been or might be." What implication does this set up for the understanding of Einstein himself? What problems may this quote have for the author's intent of writing the novel? Why might Gleick's statement be misunderstood as negative towards Einstein and, therefore, the author himself? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Answer the following essay question being sure to use at least two examples while fully explaining why the textual evidence is being used:

- What is your favorite dream from "Einstein's Dreams" and why?

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