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. Why do some people, in the world described in the "29 May 1905" dream, refuse to look out their windows?

2. In the "2 June 1905" dream, how does the story of the woman end?

3. According to Besso, what does Einstein live without?

4. According to the narrator, in the world described in the "22 May 1905" dream, what happens to people who have not had "their vision"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is the biggest problem associated with living in the 20 May 1905 world?

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

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

6. Describe what happens between the baker and the woman in the 17 June 1905 dream.

7. Describe the life of a "Now."

8. How does the narrator describe the phenomenon of people only living one day in the 3 June 1905 dream?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Given that this novel is written by someone other than Einstein, do you believe that the author was working out a theory of his own and used Einstein as a muse? What would support your standing? Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Salman Rushdie states that the novel is "intellectually provocative and touching and comical and so very beautifully written." (Dust cover quote-1993 edition by Pantheon Books, New York) What, from this quote, do you agree with? What do you disagree with? Based on your stand as a reader, support your belief with textual evidence. Cite specific examples from the text to support your responses.

(see the answer keys)

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