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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. Clarice is known for its cycle of death and rebirth and:
2. As the two men sit smoking their pipes, does Khan actually confront Polo?
3. In Esmeralda, who moves through the sewers with the rats?
4. What does a traveler arriving to Baucis see?
5. In Argia, what are the streets filled with?
Short Essay Questions
1. How do the people of Beersheba regard the heavenly version of their city?
2. Why is it that someone arriving at Thekla will see very little of the city?
3. Describe the two sides of the city of Moriana.
4. How does the perception of the city of Irene change depending on whether it's viewed by passersby or by inhabitants?
5. In what significant way is Argia different from all other cities Polo describes?
6. It's not always clear in the story if Khan is speaking to Polo or merely imagining a conversation, such as when he supposedly confronts Polo regarding Venice. Whether the conversation happened or was imagined, what does Khan accuse Polo of regarding Venice?
7. How do the cities described by Polo in Chapter 8 depict confusion?
8. Who lives in the underground city of Eusapia, and who has access to it?
9. What are the theories regarding why the inhabitants of Baucis live up in the clouds and rarely climb down to the ground?
10. When people get lost in Eudoxia, what do they look at to find their bearings?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Khan alternates between being pessimistic and being optimistic about his empire.
1) What concerns and hopes does Khan have about his empire? Cite specific examples.
2) How do Polo's stories fuel or soothe the emperor's worries and ambitions?
3) Seeing Khan at odds with himself, how does Polo use this opportunity to expand the emperor's understanding of the cities within his empire?
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
Which of the two characters, Khan or Polo, has a more realistic understanding of the state of the empire? Which would you say has a more hopeful view of the empire's future? Support your answers with examples from the story.
This section contains 923 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)