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

2. According to Tagomi, what aspect of the German massacre of the Jews caused the Japanese to refuse to participate?

3. Why does Childan send samples of his merchandise to the university?

4. When Childan returns to his office in Chapter 4, who does the client waiting for him claim to represent?

5. What word describes Baynes's reaction to Tagomi's gift and home furnishings?

Short Essay Questions

1. Back in the park, Tagomi thinks of his perception of the world as an optical distortion saying, "our space and our time creations of our own psyche, and when these momentarily falter ... all sense of balance is gone." What does this mean? How does it relate to Tagomi's present state of mind?

2. 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?

3. Juliana is surprised to learn that Abendsen no longer lives in the High Castle. Why did he live there originally? What did his life there seem to symbolize? Why has he moved? What is significant about his move?

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

5. In Chapter 5, Tagomi tells Baynes that many books like the I Ching and The Bible are alive. What does he mean by this? How does this appear to be supported in the text up to the close of this chapter ?

6. Chapter 9 repeats a technique used by Philip Dick in earlier chapters. He presents multiple characters and scenarios within a single chapter. What three scenarios are presented, and who is included in each? How does Dick attain a sense of unity despite the differing scenarios?

7. Wyndam-Matson and his girlfriend get into a long discussion about historicity. What is historicity? What point does Wyndam-Matson make about it? How is this idea supported in the novel?

8. Toward the end of Chapter 14, Reiss comes to visit Tagomi. What is the purpose of his visit? How does Tagomi react to this? What is this further revealing about Tagomi's character in light of the conflicts he has been facing, both externally and internally?

9. Juliana's words and thoughts seem jumbled and senseless at one point in Chapter 13 as she says things like, " Hair creates bear who removes spots in nakedness." and "However, only woman." What is the cause of this gibberish and disorientation? Do you feel this type of dialogue enhances or distracts from the storyline? Why?

10. Juliana responds to the radio commentary about the potential new Chancellor by saying, "Those murderers are talked about as if they are like the rest of us." Joe responds,"There isn't anything they've done that we wouldn't have done if we'd been in their places." What does Joe mean by this? What proof has Joe offered to support his opinion?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Both Childan, when speaking with Paul about Edfrank Jewelry, and Tagomi, upon his return to his office, refer to the masks they wear. Explain what is meant by this. Discuss how it applies to these two characters and to others in the novel. Explain further how this concept helps develop a main theme of the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Early on in the novel Frank Frink speaks of his life "bound up with all other lives and particles of the world." This thought can be applied to the manner in which an author keeps his characters and the events within his plot inter-related, regardless of whether they know each other or share events. Explain how Philip Dick succeeds at doing this to keep his story unified. Be specific with characters, events, and how they have impacted one another.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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