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. Flying back to New York, Julius remembers having seen the city from a similar vantage point: when looking a vast scale model of the city. Where was that scale model exhibited?

2. What part of academia does Julius say he has never had a stomach for?

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

4. Whose obituary do the street performers make Julius think of?

5. What does Julius say is the greatest trial Dr. Saito has endured?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Julius affected by V.’s death?

2. What are Julius’ dreams like, after he hears about Dr. Saito’s bedbugs?

3. How does the model of New York from the 1964 World’s Fair serve as a metaphor for the book?

4. What does Julius know about Dr. Saito’s relationship history, and how does he know it?

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

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

7. What does Dr. Saito tell Julius when he visits him in his illness?

8. What does the monument to the negro burial ground make Julius think about the reality of people in the past?

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

10. How does Julius react to Dr. Saito’s death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Evaluate the ending of Open City. Does it ring true to you? Does it successfully resolve the problems and tensions that preceded it? What would you change, if anything? What are you left wishing for closure on, if anything?

Essay Topic 2

When is Open City most itself? What is its characteristic passage, or moment? What makes that moment or passage the most representative of the book as a whole? Are there any places where the book seems to depart from its typical self, as if to become a different book?

Essay Topic 3

Is this a novel with a moral center and a single cluster of fixations buried in a welter of urban impressions? Or is it a scattered inventory of experiences that never really define a central set of concerns in the author’s life? Is this a book about a man’s psychology, or a book about a man’s views of New York City?

(see the answer keys)

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