Libra Test | Final 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 Lee call his journal?

2. Which character does T-Jay give an assignment to in 15 July?

3. In 6 September, Branch notices that many conspirators in the assassination have what?

4. How does Guy Bannister ostensibly die?

5. What does Oswald say to Kirilenko about the U-2 pilot?

Short Essay Questions

1. What new plan is Frank Vasquez hatching on September 6th?

2. How does Mackey subvert the assassination ploy on July 15th?

3. How do Lee and Marina settle into Fort Worth?

4. How does Lee Oswald decide to kill General Walker?

5. What role does writing play and Lee's life in Minsk?

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

7. What does Oswald do in Dallas prior to killing Kennedy?

8. Describe the conversation between Ruby and Tony Astorina on September 25th.

9. Why do Lee and Marina decide to return to America?

10. Why does Lee Oswald try to kill himself in Moscow?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In writing Libra, Don DeLillo faces the deep challenge to make an unimaginably despised man understandable. Write an essay in three parts discussing three unthinkable actions that Oswald undertakes in the novel:

Part 1) How does DeLillo dramatize Oswald's suicide attempt in Moscow? Discuss what leads up to this self-destructive act and whether Oswald seems committed to his own negation. What is going through Oswald's head as he cuts his wrists? What is relatable about these passages?

Part 2) How does Don DeLillo introduce domestic violence into the novel? Discuss how the author portrays the protagonist's mindset as he begins beating Marina. Why does he begin striking her? Can the reader understand his rationale.

Part 3) Discuss Lee Oswald's perception of the assassination as he plays his active role in it. Compare it to the reactions of those on the street. At what point does he acknowledge what he has done? Does she ever fully accept his culpability?

Essay Topic 2

The political world of the book world is one of interlocking yet competitive covert interests. Write an essay about how these interests affect the life of Lee Oswald. What are each of these interests' objectives, and what role is Oswald supposed to play in these objectives? Which of these covert groups gives up on Oswald and which places nearly all of its hopes on him?

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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