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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. If someone wants to see the blueprint for the city of Thekla, what will he be told?
2. If a traveler to Thekla asks why the construction is never done, what answer will he hear?
3. Each person in Melania is what?
4. Why does Khan question Polo's motives for travel?
5. When Khan tells Polo that he's dreamed of a city bathed in the light of the moon, what does Polo say?
Short Essay Questions
1. What are the theories regarding why the inhabitants of Baucis live up in the clouds and rarely climb down to the ground?
2. As Khan visualizes the growth of his empire, what are some of the concerns he has?
3. In what significant way is Argia different from all other cities Polo describes?
4. When Polo speaks of imperfections in the wood of Khan's chessboard, how does the emperor respond?
5. Who lives in the underground city of Eusapia, and who has access to it?
6. How do the cities described by Polo in Chapter 8 depict confusion?
7. What eventually happens to travelers who decide to stay in Phyllis to discover all of its secrets?
8. How does Polo use the game of chess to help Khan better understand the cities of his empire?
9. Describe the two species that protect Leandra.
10. How does Clarice preserve and display its history?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 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
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?
This section contains 1,021 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)