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 invention preceded the notice of the "speed effect"?

2. When does Besso remember looking like Einstein as he is now (second Interlude)?

3. In the third Interlude, where are Einstein and Besso?

4. Who is responsible for discovering the "speed effect?"

5. Why does the young man choose to return to his proper place in time rather than staying a few minutes in the future in the "15 June 1905" dream?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the second Interlude, to what does Besso compare Einstein's present health?

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

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

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

5. Describe the two different views people of the 15 June 1905 world can have.

6. How did the notion of the speed effect come to be known?

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

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

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

10. In the 22 May 1905 dream, what happens for those who have seen a glimpse of their future?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the limited use of illustrations in the novel. Why do you believe that illustrations are only used to lead into the "current time" of the novel? What is the importance of their placement? Do you believe that the illustrations are simply illustrations, or are they relative to the novel in a functional way? Why? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

The end of the novel can be very confusing for some readers. Einstein is said to feel empty after giving his theory to the typist.

- For those readers that were confused by this, discuss why this statement is confusing. What makes you confused about the ending? What could have been done to help you understand the reasoning behind the ending?

- For those readers that were not confused by the ending, discuss the ending for you. Why did ending the novel this way bring closure for you? How did this ending make sense for you as a reader?

Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 3

Reread the 3 June 1905 dream. What "problems" do you find exist in this dream? What realities could actually exist in this world and what "realities" could not? What are the forces that work against each other in this dream? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

(see the answer keys)

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