Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. In "The Very Rigid Search," what does Alex say that makes the old woman admit she knows about Trachimbrod?

2. According to Alex, why does Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior like Jonathan so much?

3. Where does Grandfather suggest Jonathan go to fall in love?

4. What does Yankel wear that distinguishes him from everyone else?

5. Who wins the Trachimday parade game?

Short Essay Questions

1. Name two things Alex claims to be, but that we might suspect he is exaggerating. Explain your response.

2. Describe the origin of Trachimday.

3. The synagogue has some strange features. Describe some of them.

4. Alex tells Jonathan that he "did not amputate Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior from the story" (55) despite Jonathan's request that he do so. Why would Jonathan not want SDJJ in the story? Why does Alex keep her?

5. Describe Yankel's internal and external characteristics.

6. What types of things does Yankel write in order to remember who he is? Why does he write about these memories?

7. When Alex first meets Jonathan, he is "flabbergasted by his appearance" (31). Why?

8. "An Overture to Encountering the Hero" is meant to be humorous. What elements make it funny? Why?

9. Describe Brod and her relationship with the townspeople.

10. How did the town get its official name?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jonathan Safran Foer is both the writer of the novel and is a character in the novel, yet this is a work of fiction. He must include himself in the story for a reason. Research the author and show how his own life has influenced Everything is Illuminated. Make sure you find at least three different resources. Only one of your sources may be from the internet. Compare and contrast the real Jonathan with the fictitious Jonathan.

Essay Topic 2

In the novel, Foer suggests that everything that ends begins again. Remember that the theme of rebirth does not necessarily have to do with physical rebirth. Their can also be spiritual, emotional, and symbolic rebirth. Discuss this theory and how Foer supports it. What does it mean? What does it teach?

Essay Topic 3

Brod is never alone in the novel. She always has a man in her life. When one dies, she has another man to replace the previous almost instantaneously. What does this suggest about her? Describe her relationships with the the three most important men in her life. Did she love any of them? How do you know?

(see the answer keys)

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