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. Polo states that Dorothea can be described by its canals, towers, people, and history, or how else?

2. When the people of Chloe pass each other in the street, what do they do?

3. In order to really understand the language of Hypatia, what must Polo do?

4. Which city do visitors consider to be a trap?

5. In the city with the large metal building in its center, what's inside each room of the building?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the gods in the two religions of Isaura.

3. Explain why Polo says that one cannot forget the city of Zora.

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

5. How does Khan react upon growing impatient with Polo's stories?

6. Even though Zobeide, the white city, was made from the dreams of many men of different nationalities, how do strangers see the place?

7. Describe the city of Zenobia.

8. Describe life in Eutropia, which is made up of many individual cities of equal size.

9. How does Khan react to Polo's stories when he's feeling euphoric about his empire?

10. When Khan instructs Polo to find the city from his dreams that has a north-facing harbor from which ships regularly leave as the people ashore wave their last goodbyes, what does Polo say?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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