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. In "The Circular Ruins", how does the protagonist travel to the ruins?

2. What happens to Herbert Ashe in "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"?

3. How does Pierre Menard describe "Don Quixote"?

4. What do the people of Tlon consider to be the most powerful tool mankind can possess?

5. Who does Dr. Yu Tsun shoot?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the Babylon lottery cause an uprising?

2. What causes some people in the library of Babel to go insane?

3. How does Dr. Yu Tsun arrive at Stephen Albert's house?

4. What is unique about the Babylon lottery?

5. Why can't the inappropriate information in the library of Babel be destroyed?

6. Describe Herbert Quain.

7. What is the irony prevalent in "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote"?

8. Who are the Purifiers?

9. Describe the second dream from "The Circular Ruins."

10. Why do some players of the Babylon lottery end up in jail?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is absurdist fiction, and how does Borges employ this genre in his work? What relationship exists between absurdism and satire? What is the purpose of absurdist fiction, and how is it often misinterpreted?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss Borges' use of labyrinths in "Ficciones." How does a labyrinth differ from a maze? How do characters create labyrinths, and what purpose do they serve? What warnings does Borges give his readers through the use of labyrinths?

(see the answer keys)

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