Invitation to a Beheading Test | Final 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. Where do the city officials gather to meet with Pierre and Cincinnatus?

2. What time of day do the scratching noises start up again, for the last time?

3. What does Pierre talk about during his game of chess with Cincinnatus?

4. What does Marthe give to Cincinnatus when she comes to see him?

5. Where will the execution take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe what happens to Cincinnatus's cell when the tunnel is completed.

2. What happens at the moment of Cincinnatus's execution?

3. What does Cincinnatus's letter to Marthe say?

4. How does Cincinnatus react when Pierre, the director, and the lawyer announce that it is time for his execution?

5. Describe the plot of Quercus.

6. How does Rodion act toward Cincinnatus?

7. What reason does Pierre give Cincinnatus for pretending to be a prisoner?

8. What does Pierre realize that he has forgotten in his speech?

9. What does Pierre do after the party starts breaking up, before heading back to the prison?

10. What does Pierre do, when the party moves outside at the meeting between Cincinnatus, Pierre, and the city officials?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Cincinnatus is oppressed for being different from other people. Discuss oppression in the novel.

1) Are other people besides Cincinnatus in the novel oppressed? Are their differences from each other and from the society's accepted culture suppressed?

2) How is Cincinnatus different from the other people in his culture? In what ways is Cincinnatus oppressed, beyond his imprisonment?

3) Are Cincinnatus and the other characters complicit in their own oppression? In what ways could the characters fight against or break free of oppression?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the setting of the prison.

1) Why is the prison set high on a mountain? Why is Cincinnatus the only prisoner? Why is it so large and rambling, with confused passages? What does this contribute to the novel?

2) What does Cincinnatus's cell look like? What do the elements in Cincinnatus's cell represent or indicate? How is Cincinnatus's cell different from Pierre's cell?

3) Why do the cell and prison collapse when Cincinnatus is taken away to be executed?

Essay Topic 3

Constructed reality is an important element in the novel, where "reality" is very flexible and tenuous. Discuss constructed reality in the novel.

1) How does society in the novel create its own reality? How is the culture that Cincinnatus lives in inherently unreal, and merely an agreed upon way of living created by the people of the society?

2) How does Cincinnatus create his own reality? How much control does Cincinnatus have over reality?

3) How "real" is constructed reality? How much power does it have over Cincinnatus and other characters? Is there a "truer" reality below the surface as Cincinnatus seems to feel?

(see the answer keys)

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