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. What does Marguerite complain about at the end of the chapter?

2. Where is the training base where Parmenter visits Mackey in 20 May?

3. What do Oswald's bunkmates in Atsugi call him?

4. What coup did Parmenter plan?

5. How does the brig guards treat Bobby Dupard?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What do Win, Parmenter, and Mackey discuss in 17 April?

4. Why does Lee go to meet Dr. Braunfels in Atsugi?

5. How is Lee isolated in the first chapter of the novel?

6. Why is Lee banned from the Sproul house?

7. Why, according to Parmenter, did the Bay of Pigs invasion fail?

8. Describe Nicholas Branch's life.

9. How does Lee meet Konno in Atsugi?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the value of intelligence in Libra. How does the life of Lee Oswald reflect the way information is monetized? Why is Lee Oswald given a flat and a job in Minsk by the Soviets? Why do both the CIA and the FBI express interest in Oswald after his return to the US? Discuss how Oswald, because of his faulty understanding of his intelligence, proves useless to these agencies.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the nihilistic tone of Libra. To what extend do the events of the novel add up to a sum of nothing thematically? What impels Lee Oswald toward his final end? Does Win Everett achieve anything he intended? In the end, does President Kennedy die for any reason? Discuss if the world of Libra is one in which fate or some higher power guides characters' ends.

(see the answer keys)

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