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. How do the Laters walk and dress?

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

3. According to the "29 May 1905" dream, how does the world exist?

4. What is happening in the young woman's house in the "15 June 1905" dream?

5. According to the narrator, in the world described in the "22 May 1905" dream, what happens to people who have had "their vision"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. According to the 3 June 1905 dream, describe how a person born in December exists.

4. Why do sunset and sunrise babies become frightened when the light changes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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