Humboldt's Gift 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 did George Swiebell do before he began his contracting business?

2. What information does Charlie want from Langobadi?

3. Why does Charlie's friend tell him that he should not give the man demanding $450 the money?

4. How is Denise's attitude changed when she leaves the judge's chambers?

5. What is the reason Magnasco does not want to call the police on Humboldt?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what way is Scaccia, the detective, blackmailing Charlie?

2. Humboldt used to accuse Charlie of trying to spend his whole life in the upper stories of higher consciousness. What is Humboldt's definition of higher consciousness?

3. How does Charlie come to be blamed for Humboldt's admittance to Bellevue?

4. How do Charlie and Renata first get together?

5. Why does George dislike Dick Durnwald?

6. What does Humboldt believe Kathleen's father did to her to keep her away from Humboldt?

7. Why does Charlie think of the Mozartian Italian Denise likes, "Tutto tutto gia si sa" (Everything, everything about me was known)?

8. Why does Humboldt tell Charlie that he wants Adlai Stevenson to win the election over Eisenhower?

9. What is Humboldt's reaction when Charlie tells him that the Chair, Ricketts, cannot give Humboldt a Poetry Chair because of budgetary reasons?

10. Charlie goes to the Russian Baths to give Cantabile his money. What is Cantabile's demeanor like when he gets out of his car to meet Charlie outside the Baths?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It becomes clear in the story that Renata is a plus for Charlie in many ways. What are Renata's attributes that are especially good for Charlie?

Essay Topic 2

Denise is Charlie's ex-wife. When explaining her feelings about Charlie's oldest friend, George Swiebel, she says, "George Swiebel is your billy goat." Explain what Denise meant by this statement and how it relates to Charlie.

Essay Topic 3

Charlie feels he must leave New York and forgo travel to Europe because his brother, Julius, is about to undergo open-heart surgery in Texas. Renata bases her refusal to accompany Charlie to Texas on the notion that she would appear as a gold-digging bimbo if she went in any role but wife.

Why is Charlie reluctant to see Renata go off to Milan on her own? What does he fear will happen?

Even though Charlie may love Renata for many reasons beyond the shallow ones, he is clearly not ready to make the matrimonial commitment. Why not?

Can Charlie have his cake with Renata and eat it too? Does he even want to?

(see the answer keys)

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