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 understands that when he has irritated Khan, the emperor will:

2. Khan's messengers advise him on the price of:

3. In Hypatia, when Polo wants to see the sultan at the palace, who is he allowed to question instead?

4. Polo tells Khan that he feels this way about the things he saw in Hypatia:

5. What does Polo say he gauges everywhere he travels to?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In the end, what matters most about Khan's relationship with, or understanding of, his many cities?

3. When Polo speaks of imperfections in the wood of Khan's chessboard, how does the emperor respond?

4. Why does Kublai Khan listen to Marco Polo's fantastic stories about cities he's visited?

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

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

7. How is Maurilia connected to its past?

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

9. When Khan and Polo pause in between their conversations, pondering the meaning of what's been said, what does each imagine or visualize?

10. Why is it that someone arriving at Thekla will see very little of the city?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Part 1) Why does Polo filter his stories through his memories of Venice? Why is it important for him to connect his stories of Khan's cities to some aspect of Venice? What does he gain from doing this?

Part 2) How does Emperor Khan react to the notion that Polo's accounts of his empire's cities are colored by his memories of Venice? Does it bother him in any way? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In many of Polo's stories, there is a strong relationship between the living and the dead.

Part 1) Give specific examples from the book of cities that exhibit some type of connection between those who are alive and those who have passed on.

Part 2) Why does Polo cover this theme? Why does he return to it again and again? What is he trying to establish, either for himself or for the emperor, regarding the interconnectedness of the living and the dead?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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