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. How is the city of San Francisco described?

2. What does Childan learn about the carrier ship Syokaku from the Tokyo Herald?

3. What is Wyndam-Matson certain of when he hears Calvin's complaint?

4. Why does Childan most likely have the fresh marigolds and background music playing in his shop?

5. What is discovered about his merchandise that causes Childan to lose a major deal?

Short Essay Questions

1. One aspect of science fiction is that there is an element of the real world in it. What similarities can be seen in World War II and its aftermath as related in the High Castle and the history as we know it?

2. 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?

3. At the close of Chapter 6, we find Frank and McCarthy excited about starting their jewelry business. Despite this, Frank has some real concerns. Why? Are they legitimate?

4. Bigotry is common and accepted without question in the former United States of Philip Dick's world. How does the author reveal this? What seems to be the reason behind this?

5. Childan says of the Kasouras, "these new young people, of the rising generation, who did not remember the days before the war or even the war itself, - they were the hope of the world." What is meant by this? How do the Kasouras appear to prove him right?

6. How is the mystery client that comes to place an expensive order with Childan described? What appears to be his real purpose? Who can you assume this client to be, and why is he doing this?

7. The voice of the radio quotes from The Bible, "What profit it a man if he gain the whole world but in this enterprise lose his soul?" How does this apply to what we have witnessed of this world in Chapter 1?

8. What appears to be the source of Juliana's depression at the start of Chapter 3? Why might this be considered to be ironic?

9. How does Baynes react to Tagomi's apartment? How do his thoughts and reactions to Tagomi's possessions and comments further define his character?

10. What does the reader learn about the fate of the Slavs and Africans? In what way is Dick continuing to keep his "fiction" tied to reality? What comment might he be making about some of the realities of true USA history?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the significance of the novel's title, The High Castle, both at a literal and symbolic level? What is the further significance of what Juliana learns about it when she finally meets Abendsen? What does Philip Dick appear to be saying through the multiple levels of meaning and the change that takes place? Be thorough and specific in your discussion.

Essay Topic 2

Often a character faces both inner and outer conflicts that define his personality. Choose a character from The High Castle and discuss both an internal and an external conflict faced by this character (one may lead to the other or they may be completely separate). For each, define the conflict, describe how the character dealt with the conflict, and explain how (if) it was resolved. Go on to discuss what this says about this character. Be specific throughout.

Essay Topic 3

Towards the end of the novel the author points out the pessimistic attitude of Wegener and the optimistic conclusions of Juliana regarding the future of the world. Compare their specific viewpoints. How might their life situations reflect their particular views? In your opinion, who is more realistic about the world in which they live? Provide specific evidence from the novel to support your opinion.

(see the answer keys)

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