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. What is Yankel doing before he is told he will be a father?

2. What color are Brod's eyes?

3. How do Brod and Yankel earn a living?

4. What do both Alex and Jonathan believe about the people in the photograph?

5. Where does Yankel write his life history?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is Sofiowka a reliable character? How do you know? Give details from the story.

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

3. Describe Yankel's internal and external characteristics.

4. Describe the relationship between Alex and his father.

5. Why does Brod think she is the float queen in the Trachimday parade? What is the real reason?

6. What is the relationship between Grandfather and Jonathan?

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

8. How did the town get its official name?

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

10. Why does Alex claim it would it be "cinchier" for Jonathan to follow his dream?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As a historical fiction, this novel is influenced by real events and ideas. Analyze how World War II or the Jewish culture have influenced this novel. For example, you may show how the violence of the war led to the violence in the family unit, or show how the Jewish culture has led to the use of themes like rebirth, suffering, sadness, justice, or forgiveness. Use examples from the novel to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 2

This novel is a historical fiction, which means that even though the story itself is not true, some of the events or people involved are real. For example, there most likely was never a Safran and if there was, he probably was not writing love notes to a Gypsy girl. However, the war that is in in the newspapers from which Safran cuts the letters out did happen. World War II did come to the Ukraine and many Jewish people were killed as they were in the novel. Research the Ukraine's involvement in World War II. When was it invaded? What happened to the Jewish people? What happened to the Gypsies? What did it do the Ukraine? What is the Ukraine like today? Answer these questions in a research paper. At the end of your research, analyze the accuracy of Foer's novel.

Essay Topic 3

The novel Everything is Illuminated tells three stories. Each story is distinct, yet they all intersect. How are the stories connected? What themes or ideas are prominent in all three? What is the point of each story? Is there a good reason for telling all three stories instead of just one? Is it effective? Discuss why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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