Proof Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Auburn
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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 Catherine wearing at the top of the scene?

2. Who paid the mortgage on the house during Robert's illness?

3. What fields did Robert, in his younger days, make significant contributions to, according to Hal?

4. Why does Hal say some of the older mathematicians use amphetamines?

5. Why did Hal not attempt to pursue Catherine after their initial meeting?

Short Essay Questions

1. Robert was a graphomaniac. What does that mean?

2. Why is Hal's entrance at the end of the scene helpful for Catherine?

3. What is Hal's excuse for kissing Catherine?

4. How does Catherine describe Robert's mathematical processes?

5. Who is Sophie Germain?

6. What does Catherine give to Hal that morning? Where has Catherine been keeping the object ?

7. What is Hal's song Imaginary Number?

8. What does Claire plan to do with the house?

9. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

10. Why does Catherine demand to see Hal's backpack? Does she find anything?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Claire is a very different character from Catherine, but has a very distinct point of view in the play.

1.) What does Claire do for a living? Is she a mathematical person too?

2.) What was Claire's contribution during Robert's illness? How does this make Catherine somewhat beholden to her?

3.) Describe Claire's personality. How does she differ from Catherine and Robert?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contract Catherine and Claire. Though they are sisters, they have very different personalities.

1.) How did Claire want Robert's illness handled? How did Catherine want it handled?

2.) What pressure does Claire feel in regards to her family? What pressure does Catherine feel?

3.) How and why does Claire's intervention in her life offend Catherine?

Essay Topic 3

What are Catherine's arguments that she wrote the proof? What are Claire's arguments that she did not write the proof? Why is Hal skeptical? What is Catherine's explanation for her advanced understand of mathematics? At the climax of Act 1, Catherine tries to destroy the proof, though it is of extreme mathematical importance and she has poured her heart and soul into it. Why, at that point, is her only option to destroy it? Why does Claire stop her?

(see the answer keys)

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