Einstein's Dreams Test | Final 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 does the narrator want readers to "suppose" in the "9 June 1905" dream?

2. Why does the man at the graveside ("2 June 1905" dream) not weep for his friend?

3. In the second Interlude, what is the first dialogue between Besso and Einstein that the reader comes across?

4. According to the "29 May 1905" dream, why does this world exist as it does?

5. In the "15 June 1905" dream, what is the young woman staring at?

Short Essay Questions

1. What options do people have when it comes to reading their Book of Life?

2. Describe the way that time is experienced in the 5 June 1905 dream.

3. What happens to the "withered woman" from the 2 June 1905 dream?

4. Describe the life of a peach in the world where time travels in reverse.

5. Why have some inhabitants of the 29 May 1905 world become frustrated and despondent?

6. Why does the man at the graveside refuse to weep for his deceased friend?

7. Describe the life of a "Now."

8. Describe the cafe that stands on the corner of Kramgasse and Theaterplatz.

9. How does the narrator describe time in the 17 June 1905 dream?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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

Take into consideration the many different representations of time described in the novel. Find the most realistic representation of time, described in a dream, and build a case as to why it is the most reasonable representation of what time could be. Be sure to use textual based examples to prove why this representation could exist in reality.

(see the answer keys)

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