Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit Test | Final Test - Hard

Daniel Quinn
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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. Why is Ishmael reticent about telling the narrator what he wants to know in Chapter 11?

2. What does Mr. Partridge tell the narrator when he inquires at the Sokolow house in Chapter 10?

3. What assumption does Ishmael say the Takers must have made about the world in order to follow the laws they follow?

4. What does the narrator talk to Art Owens about?

5. What does the narrator say he feels when he takes a few days off from his discussion with Ishmael in Chapter 8?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the narrator say he would do to figure out the fundamental law of the community Ishmael describes?

2. What argument does the narrator offer for why the Takers’ culture is superior to the Leavers’?

3. Where has Ishmael gone when the narrator shows up again at the office building, and how does the narrator reconnect with him?

4. What are the three things that Takers do that nothing else in nature does?

5. What surprising behavior does Ishmael describe for the narrator in an imaginary hospitable city?

6. What reading does Ishmael give the Bible story of Cain and Abel?

7. How does Ishmael characterize the debate among the gods about an equitable way to take care of the animals?

8. Describe the narrator’s negotiations with Art Owens.

9. What objection does Ishmael make to the narrator’s questions at the beginning of Chapter 11?

10. What keeps the narrator from returning to the office building for a few days?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of Judaism and Christianity in Ishmael? What is the importance of Walter Sokolow’s Jewishness? What is the role of the narrator’s religion? Ishmael’s?

Essay Topic 2

In what ways is Ishmael relevant to contemporary readers? What contemporary issues are in play in the book, and how would the book contribute to contemporary discussion? Cite specific discussions from contemporary sources, and cite specific instances from the book that describe its contemporary relevance.

Essay Topic 3

Aside from the dialogue they conduct, Ishmael and the narrator seem to have a tense, and sometimes adversarial relationship. What is the role of their personal relationship in the novel, and how does it affect the narrator’s developing understanding of Ishmael’s teachings?

(see the answer keys)

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