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. Why does the terrace of the Bundesterrasse have a striking view?

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

3. What does the narrator say people transported to the past fear?

4. According to the narrator, what is a world with one month a world of?

5. What month does the Swiss and English couple meet to vacation together?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe the people who live by "bodily time."

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Discuss the Great Clock. What problems are associated with placing all trust in a manmade object? What are the benefits associated with placing all trust in a synthetic object? Would you choose to place you life in the motion of the clock or not? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the relationship between Einstein and Besso. Who do you think the relationship is more important to? Why? Who do you think the relationship is more taxing on? Why? Is the relationship relevant to the understanding of the novel? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

(see the answer keys)

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