The Man in the High Castle 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 do phrases like "the fussy, brisk voice," "barely polite," and "deliberately mispronounced his name" initially tell us about Tagomi's character?

2. What does the author use to establish the relationship between Frank and McCarthy, his foreman?

3. What does McCarthy suggest is the reason Frank is initially reluctant to start his own business?

4. What does Frank's use of the I Ching suggest about him?

5. What image set forth in The Grasshopper Lies Heavy seems to upset Joe the most?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 3, what suggestion is the author making by putting Hitler in a sanitarium and then noting that the present world in this novel is the product of his mind? What similarities are seen in the thoughts of Juliana and Baynes to support this view?

2. While consulting the I Ching, Frank thinks of how "his life was bound up with all other lives and particles in the universe." What does this mean? How might it be applied to Chapter 1 and serve as foreshadowing for the rest of the novel?

3. What do we learn about Hawthorne Abendsen, the author of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? How does Juliana feel about this novel as compared to Joe?

4. What is the source of the conflict Frank faces over his reading of the I Ching? How does he finally interpret this message? What does he decide as a result?

5. While at a special session about the possible candidates for the new German Chancellor, Tagomi becomes ill and leaves. What factors cause him to take the chance of being shamed by his abrupt departure?

6. In Chapter 4, Frank speaks of Gresham's Law. What does this law suggest? How does Childan's reaction to the discovery about some of his merchandise reflect his understanding of the importance of this law?

7. Chapter 1 introduces the setting of the novel as being in San Francisco twenty years after World War II. What signs are there that there has been a different outcome to this war from the history as we know it?

8. What new insight does Chapter 5 give the reader into the character of Baynes? What might this be foreshadowing?

9. Compare the reactions of Childan, Calvin and Wyndam-Matson to the discovery of the fake guns. What point does the author seem to be making about the business world as he sees it?

10. When told by the university that "there is a regular industry turning out these fakes," Childan gets angry and insists that this is only a rumor. Why is he in such denial even when the proof lies before him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The title of Abendsen 's novel is an allusion to Ecclesiastics, Chapter 5, verses 5-7 from the King James version of the Bible. This translates to say:

"Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way .... and the grasshopper be a burden, and desire shall

fail ...Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

Explain the significance of this allusion as it relates to The High Castle and its inner story, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. Be specific in explaining how the above Biblical excerpt relates to the characters and the world in which they live.

Essay Topic 2

The protagonist, or hero, of a story is a character pitted against an important opponent, the antagonist. Who do you feel is the protagonist of this novel? Explain and give proof to validate your choice. In your explanation, describe what he or she is up against, how the opposition is dealt with, and how this makes the person heroic. Be specific throughout.

Essay Topic 3

Irony can be an effective tool by an author to make a point, develop a character, or move along the plot. Discuss Philip Dick's use of irony in the novel and the purpose it serves. Give at least two examples as proof. For each, explain its relevance to the novel's success.

(see the answer keys)

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