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 thinks Robert should have been put in professional care?

2. What was Claire trying to do in her conversation with Catherine?

3. What was Robert's occupation?

4. What does Claire want Catherine to do?

5. How many notebooks did Robert leave behind?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Claire want Catherine to come to New York?

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

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

4. Who is Sophie Germain?

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

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

7. Who did Claire want to care for Robert during his illness, and who actually cared for him?

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

9. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

10. Who paid off the mortgage on the house? How?

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

Hal and Robert are each afraid of getting old and losing their edge. They think mathematics is a young man's game, and very quickly a mathematician is past his prime.

1.) Could this idea have anything to do with Robert's illness? He works so hard to match his former genius, but cannot---could this be a contributing factor?

2.) Hal jokes that he has resigned himself to a teaching position. Do you think there is more it? Is Hal disappointed in his own lack of genius?

3.) Describe the lengths mathematicians go to in order to retain their edge, as described by Hal. How competitive is this field?

Essay Topic 3

Hal feels some sort of a connection to Catherine. When she is catatonic in bed, he insists to Claire that Catherine may talk to him.

1.) What events my have led Hal to feel more connected with Catherine?

2.) Could he feel guilty and somewhat responsible for her breakdown?

3.) Is Hal a victim of circumstance, or could he have handled the situation more graciously?

(see the answer keys)

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