Open City Test | Final Test - Hard

Teju Cole
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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 Julius’ reaction when he sees Hasidic Jews looking at Munkasci’s images of Goebbels?

2. When did trading in slaves become a capital crime in the U.S.?

3. How does Moji say Julius acted in the days and weeks after he forced himself on her?

4. Who does Julius ask for help after being beaten and robbed?

5. What does Julius say his generation is the first generation not to be familiar with?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the leap in time and setting that has taken place between chapters 20 and 21?

2. Chapter 11 marks the end of “Part 1: Death is a perfection of the eye.” In what way is this title appropriate to the first 11 chapters?

3. What does Julius say his relationship with winter is like?

4. How does Julius respond when Moji tells Julius that she has never forgotten him sexually assaulting her when they were students?

5. What is the vision Julius has while he is sitting in the park, watching the starlings?

6. What happens to Julius when he forgets to bring his checkbook to the accountant, and why is it disturbing?

7. What is Julius’ state of mind while he is reading the newspaper to Dr. Saito?

8. How does Julius kill half an hour when he is early to meet Dr. Maillotte?

9. Why has Julius missed Dr. Saito’s death?

10. What odd scene does Julius witness in the diner, where someone is learning Chinese?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the style Cole uses for this novel? What does Cole gain by Julius’ impressions being so egalitarian? What does he lose by constantly changing focus, from one scene to the next, without building the kinds of personal drama we expect in a novel? How is this style fitted to the themes of Julius’ interests? Does it ultimately weigh in the book’s favor, or is its style an obstacle to the book’s meaning?

Essay Topic 2

Write an evaluative review of Open City. What is this book’s place in our culture? Who will find this book most useful? What are its uses? What are its limitations?

Essay Topic 3

How does Julius grow or change over the course of the novel? What is he like at the start of the novel, and what is he like at the end? What are the main events that may have changed him? How do you account for the changes he undergoes? Or, how do you account for his lack of change?

(see the answer keys)

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