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 strangers arrive to Zobeide, what impression do they have of the city?

2. Where is the city of Valdrada built?

3. The "white city" described by Polo is:

4. Where do the people of Isaura find water?

5. By dissecting each city, what is Polo is trying to explain to Khan?

Short Essay Questions

1. What special ability does the mirror image of Valdrada possess?

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

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

4. How does the information provided to Khan by his other messengers differ from what Polo shares?

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

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

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

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

9. What is it about Anastasia that it would make slaves of men?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Towards the end of the book, Khan's confusion regarding the state of his cities grows.

Part 1) How does Polo use chess and strategy in an attempt to help Khan understand how cities rise and fall?

Part 2) How is Khan's confusion reflected in the confusion represented by the cities described in Polo's stories?

Part 3) Do the two main characters ever find their way out of the maze of confusion? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

One of Polo's goals is to show the emperor that his cities cannot exist without connections holding each one together. Using examples from the book, explain how Polo elaborates on the theme of "connections within a city." Then, explain how his example of an arched stone bridge supports his premise that the cities are the sum of all of their connections.

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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