In the Lake of the Woods Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Tim O'Brien
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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 happened to soldier Weatherby?

2. What did John do in the middle of the night?

3. How do John and Kathy deal with the fact that their dreams are impossible for the moment?

4. When does In the Lake of the Woods begin?

5. What was Kathy's bid secret?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Kathy die in the hypothesis in Chapter 14?

2. What do we hear about Weatherby that adds to what we heard about earlier?

3. How does the narrator describe Kathy's feelings in the hypothesis in Chapter 9?

4. What did John discover when he returned from the war?

5. What is the narrator's hypothesis in Chapter 14?

6. What does John tell Kathy in his letters from Vietnam?

7. Describe the effect of reading In the Lake of the Woods.

8. What sources does the narrator use, to piece together the story?

9. When did the Wades discover that the election was lost?

10. What do we know about the night of the boiling plants?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is Tim O'Brien doing with the form of the novel by refusing to answer the question of Kathy's disappearance? How is 'In the Lake of the Woods' different from the 'typical' novel? What is the benefit of that difference? What are the drawbacks?

Essay Topic 2

Make a timeline of the events described in the book, and then devise a method of indicating how the book jumps back and forth between times. What structure or pattern emerges? What is unique about this structure?

Essay Topic 3

How does the narrator create a sense of certainty in a book that is ceaselessly probing into facts to get at the unwritten and unknowable truth. Is certainty relative--does it depend on your personal interpretation? Are facts knowable? Is truth simply practical? What epistemology--science of knowledge--informs 'In the Lake of the Woods'?

(see the answer keys)

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