Libra 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. Who is Robert Sproul?

2. Why is Lee mocked at his school in the Bronx?

3. What duty is Lee assigned as punishment for his unauthorized gun?

4. In what city does Win Everett initially want to stage the assassination attempt?

5. What does Lee not tell Dr. Braunfels about himself?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Lee's life in New Orleans like?

2. Discuss how Branch sees death surrounding Oswald?

3. What plans does Parmenter tell Mackey on May 20th?

4. What information about Oswald does Win receive at the beginning of June 19th?

5. Why do Lee and Marguerite argue in New Orleans?

6. On August 12th, what concerns does Win Everett express to Parmenter?

7. Why is Lee banned from the Sproul house?

8. How does the move to Fort Worth affect Lee and Marina's marriage?

9. Describe Nicholas Branch's life.

10. What initial actions do the CIA men take for their plan on April 17th?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Libra, the author makes a clear statement regarding a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. He also includes characters in the text that illustrate the ire toward Kennedy felt by others in the country. Write an essay about three individuals who represent possible threats to the President. What is each character's specific problem with Kennedy? How does he express this outrage, and why is he ultimately not a central planner of the killing?

Part 1) Parmenter

Part 2) Astorina

Part 3) Bannister

Essay Topic 2

The main framing device of the two narratives of Libra is the figure of Nicholas Branch. In an essay, discuss the Branch storyline in the novel. Who is Nicholas Branch, and what is his objective in the novel? How does his life devolve in a fashion similar to Oswald's? Discuss the extent to which the rest of Libra is the product of Nicholas Branch's work.

Essay Topic 3

The character of Lee Oswald in Libra is an ambiguous figure, one whose loyalty is never clear as he moves from place to place and relationship to relationship. Write a three-part essay analyzing the shifting loyalties Oswald illustrates throughout the novel:

Part 1) Discuss Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union. At what point in his life does he decide that he should live in a Communist country? How does Soviet society appeal to Lee Oswald, and why does he eventually decide to return to the United States?

Part 2) What is Lee Oswald's life like in New Orleans. Why does he become friends with right wingers life Bannister and Ferrie despite his leftist leanings? Discuss his reasons for working in Bannister's office and why these conservative players tolerate his pro-Castro literature.

Part 3) Discuss the mindset that Oswald displays as he waits in his jail cell following Kennedy's murder. How does he rationalize his participation in the murder plot? What defense does he think he can present to authorities? How does this represent a fractured psyche?

(see the answer keys)

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