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. Who apologizes to whom about the events from the night before? (i.e., the fight, the 9-1-1 call, and the attempted theft)?

2. What was Hal's state of mind when he met Catherine four years ago?

3. When does Hal arrive in the scene?

4. Where did Catherine get the dress she wore to the funeral?

5. What does Catherine give to Hal?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Hal think his papers get turned down for publication?

2. How does Hal describe the mathematicians at his conferences?

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

4. Describe the general mood at the house after Robert's funeral.

5. Does Hal think he will still have the next great mathematical revelation?

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

7. Describe how Catherine treats the police when they arrive.

8. What does Robert reveal about Catherine's state of mind in the first scene?

9. Why is it strange that Catherine and Robert are speaking in the beginning of the first scene?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of students in bookstores for Robert. When does the audience first hear it from Robert? What is the significance of the second time the audience hears Robert talk about students and bookstores? What are the implications for Robert as a teacher?

Essay Topic 2

Catherine is a complex character: for a young person, she has held an extraordinary amount of responsibility. However, according to her sister Claire, Catherine now cannot take care of herself.

1.) Cite three instances in the text where Claire's argument can be made, and Catherine's behavior is reprehensible.

2.) Is Claire justified in stepping into Catherine's life? In selling the house? In moving Catherine to New York?

3.) Is Claire trying to help Catherine out of a sense of sisterly love, or misplaced guilt over Robert's death?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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