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 learned about the role of Blacks in the PSA?

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

3. What words best describe how Joe views the British?

4. What does Childan's mystery client wish to purchase?

5. How does Wyndam-Matson's feel about "historicity"?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. How do Childan's and Frank's perception of the Germans and the Japanese differ? What motivates these views?

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. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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 ?

7. What do we learn about the German impact on television production and programming in Chapter 6? Of what significance is this to the storyline?

8. 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?

9. As Chapter 15 opens, Wegener thinks there is "no reason to be optimistic." Why does he have such a negative point of view? What are some specific things he feels pessimistic about? Are his feelings justified?

10. As Childan reflects on how his beliefs have been shaken, he pities himself as being a salesman who has to deal with people like Tagomi, who, in his words, "by merest reflection manage to rub my nose in it, make my life miserable." In what way does this statement take an ironic twist in light of how he treats McCarthy and makes plans for Edfrank Jewelry?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mr. Tagomi can be described as a dynamic character, one that goes through a transformation from the story's beginning to its end. Trace the development of Tagomi from his telephone conversation in Chapter 1 with Childan to the final chapter when he confronts Reiss. In what ways does he change? What influences these changes? Be specific throughout your discussion.

Essay Topic 2

Science fiction is often said to have at its foundation a strong connection to the real world. Upon what historical realities did Philip Dick draw? What are some of the specific parallels he makes between Abendsen's world and his own? By doing this, how does this novel equally become a criticism of our own history?

Essay Topic 3

Foreshadowing is often an effective way for an author to develop a main or sub-plot, as it gives hints to the reader along the way as to what might happen next or eventually. Focus on the plot involving Joe and Juliana. Follow the trail of clues Philip Dick gives the reader from Juliana's early observation that "Joe breathes death." Continue following the clues to his and her final actions and a warning that Joe was not who he said he was at all. He would be responsible for something terrible. What effect does this have on the reader throughout? Be specific with examples and explanations.

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