Invitation to a Beheading 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. How many children does Marthe have?

2. What is the director's attitude toward M'sieur Pierre?

3. What does Cincinnatus describe as discovering, as he takes off layer after layer of his clothes/himself?

4. Who is waiting for Cincinnatus in his prison cell?

5. How does Cincinnatus describe his wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Cincinnatus respond to Pierre's story of why he is in prison?

2. What does Cincinnatus hope to get out of seeing Marthe?

3. What does Cincinnatus describe happening to the world in his dreams?

4. What does Cincinnatus at first mistake for a window?

5. How does Cincinnatus' father-in-law say goodbye to him?

6. Describe Pierre's circus performance.

7. Besides how long Cincinnatus has until his execution, what else does Cincinnatus want to know from his captors? What is their response?

8. Describe Cincinnatus's early days with his wife.

9. Describe Cincinnatus's walk through the prison staircase.

10. How do all the prison guards react to the new prisoner?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Emmie's character becomes a source of hope for Cincinnatus. Discuss Emmie's role in the novel.

1) What qualities does Emmie's character have? What does Cincinnatus assume about Emmie's character? How do his assumptions differ from the reality?

2) How does Emmie represent childhood? What is Cincinnatus's perception of childhood, and how does it affect his view of Emmie?

3) How does Emmie's betrayal of Cincinnatus affect him? How do others view that betrayal?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the importance of the librarian in the novel.

1) What does the librarian's job say about him?

2) How does the librarian react to the other characters and the culture that surrounds him? How does he react to Pierre and the prison director?

3) Why does Cincinnatus try to communicate and make a connection with the librarian near the end of the novel? What does the librarian's reaction say about him? What is the librarian's reaction at the beheading, and what does this indicate?

Essay Topic 3

Cincinnatus's mother Cecelia C. is one of the few people to visit him in prison. Discuss Cecelia C.'s role in the novel.

1) What is Cincinnatus's attitude toward his mother?

2) Why does Cecelia C. come to see him in prison? What does her attitude toward Cincinnatus seem to be? Why did she abandon her son, and why does she come to see him again?

3) How is Cecelia C.'s visit different from the other visits Cincinnatus receives in prison? How is he similar to his mother? How are they different? What affect does the visit have on Cincinnatus?

(see the answer keys)

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