Ficciones 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. Who examines Pierre Menard's manuscripts?

2. What happens to the blind astrologer in "The Approach of Al-Mu'tasim"?

3. What are Uqbar and Tlon?

4. Who is the narrator in "An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain"?

5. What is the name of the god of the temple in "The Circular Ruins"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is unique about the Babylon lottery?

2. Describe Al-Mu'tasim.

3. In "The Circular Ruins," what fear does the protagonist have for his son?

4. What revelation does the narrator have about Uqbar and Tlon at the end of the story, "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"?

5. Describe Pierre Menard.

6. Describe Dr. Yu Tsun.

7. Why does Dr. Yu Tsun murder Dr. Albert?

8. Who are the Purifiers?

9. What is the most important possession to the people of Tlon?

10. Describe the satire present in "An Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Borges' view of redemption. Who is Al-Mu'tasim? What is the significance of the student's journey? How does the student find redemption?

Essay Topic 2

How does Borges use fictional and legitimate literature to express his themes? What effect does the use of historically accurate references and literature have on the realism of Borges' work? What effect does the insertion of both fictional and legitimate literature have on the reader's perception of his work?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the different narrative modes and their importance in expressing themes in literature. How does point of view affect a reader's vision of a story? When is a particular narrative mode ineffective? Why does Borges occasionally switch modes within a story?

(see the answer keys)

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