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 was Marguerite's job that she was fired from in New Orleans?

2. What is lee regularly quizzed on in the brig?

3. In the Bronx, why does Marguerite claims she cannot make her son go to school?

4. What strikes Nicholas Branch as odd about Ferrie's death?

5. What has just happened to Lee at the beginning of New Orleans?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Lee banned from the Sproul house?

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

3. Why is Parmenter especially angry about the Bay of Pigs debacle?

4. Describe the colorful conversation Bannister has at a bar on June 19th.

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

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

7. How does Lee fair in the brig?

8. What does David Ferrie do in the Bannister office in this chapter?

9. What does Lee Oswald do on his base in Atsugi?

10. Discuss how Branch sees death surrounding Oswald?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As the catalyst for the Kennedy assassination, Win Everett is a strangely benign and ambiguous figure. In an essay, discuss the grievances he expresses regarding the Kennedy administration. What does he want his fake assassination to achieve? Based on these goals, does Everett seem left or right in his political leanings? Is he an inherently violent man?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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