Invisible Cities 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. When Polo goes to Hypatia, what does he learn?

2. At times, Polo and Khan sit quietly to:

3. What city is found 80 miles northwest of Zenobia?

4. When Marco Polo meets with Kublai Khan, he:

5. Polo describes a city with two forms of religion. In one, the gods live in a subterranean lake. In the other, the gods live where?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the different models of the city of Fedora show?

2. What is the significance of the evening breeze that Khan and Polo enjoy while conversing on the steps of the palace?

3. What is the significance of the large metal building located at the center of Fedora?

4. In Chapter 4, why does Polo dissect every city he describes to Khan?

5. What does Polo come to realize about language in Hypatia?

6. Describe how the means of communication between Khan and Polo evolves.

7. Khan and Polo each envision model cities. From these models, what are the two men able to deduce?

8. Why does Polo say its pointless to try to describe the city of Zaira?

9. Why does Polo say that it is best to visit Diomira on a September evening?

10. Why would you say the cities described by Polo in Chapter 3 have an especially dreamy quality about them?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After hearing Polo tell so many varied, interesting stories reflecting the state of Khan's empire, what conclusion does the emperor reach? What has he been trying to learn all along from Polo's stories? Does he get the information he seeks? What does Khan decide or realize about his empire by the end of the book?

Essay Topic 2

At first, Polo does not speak Khan's language and therefore uses symbols and gestures to communicate his stories. Later, he learns to speak a language Khan speaks and is able to give the emperor precise descriptions.

1) Analyze how Khan interprets Polo's stories when they are told through symbols and gestures. How much does he comprehend? What is left to his imagination? How does he fill in the blanks?

2) How do Khan's interpretations of the stories change once Polo learns to speak his language? Is any information lost, gained, or transformed? Explain.

3) Analyze the differences in Khan's interpretations when the stories are told through symbols and when they are told through clear spoken language. Which interpretation is closest to the truth Polo is trying to convey? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Polo plays with the concept of light and dark. Some cities have beautiful sides along with darker sides. Give examples of these, describing in detail both sides. Are the sides real or imagined? How do they complete the whole? What do you suppose are Polo's reasons for sharing both sides to the emperor? Explain your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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