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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 Lee mocked at his school in the Bronx?
2. In what city did George de Mohrenschildt meet Oswald?
3. What does Parmenter want hit in the assassination attempt besides the presidential limo?
4. As of April 17th, how many years have passed since the Bay of Pigs failure?
5. What topic does Konno become particularly interested in with Lee?
Short Essay Questions
1. What do Win, Parmenter, and Mackey discuss in 17 April?
2. Who does Marguerite blame for her life in the Bronx?
3. Describe Nicholas Branch's life.
4. How does Lee fair in the brig?
5. Why, according to Parmenter, did the Bay of Pigs invasion fail?
6. How is Lee isolated in the first chapter of the novel?
7. What does David Ferrie do in the Bannister office in this chapter?
8. Why do Lee and Marguerite argue in New Orleans?
9. Who are the exiles on May 20th?
10. What confidential information does Lee reveal to Konno in Atsugi?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
In Libra, individuals resort to violence when they feel trapped and marginalized in their lives. Discuss this striking out that occurs when characters feel they have no other options in a three-part essay:
Part 1) What indignities and profession setbacks has Win Everett suffered prior to the events of the novel? Why does he feel he has no voice in the intelligence community? Discuss how he decides staging an assassination attempt will remedy these injustices.
Part 2) Discuss the dreams and hopes that Lee Oswald has throughout the novel, and how their failure leads him to consider murder as an alternative. What purpose does the assassination serve for him personally? How does he feel empowered?
Part 3) What personal challenges is Jack Ruby facing when DeLillo introduces him near the end of the novel? What tactics does he use to avoid complete failure? What role does the murder of Oswald play in his personal redemption?
Essay Topic 2
Throughout the novel Lee Oswald seems uncomfortable with the notion of his own sexuality. In a three-part essay, explore how Oswald tries and fails to explore his sexual being and falls deeper into his own darkness as a result.
Part 1) Discuss Lee Oswald's romantic life in Atsugi. What is the nature of the woman to whom he loses his virginity? How does she initiate him into the realm of sexuality? What must he give up to her companions as a result?
Part 2) How does Lee Oswald meet Marina, and how does their romantic relationship develop? Discuss the process by which their relationship deteriorates, and how they relate to each other by the end of the novel.
Part 3) Discuss Lee's relationship with Dave Ferrie. How do they first meet, and is it readily apparent that Ferrie wants Oswald? How does this relationship develop? How does the sexual ambiguity of both men become apparent?
Essay Topic 3
Write an essay about insanity and disassociation in Libra. What mechanisms does Lee Oswald use to assume false identities, and how does this allow him disassociate himself from his actions? Discuss how Lee's view of the world becomes skewed. What delusions does he desperately hold on to? What false patterns does he begin to see in everyday life, and how does this fuel his willingness to kill Kennedy?
This section contains 1,074 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)