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. How does Catherine treat the police officers?

2. What is happening in the house after the funeral?

3. When does Hal arrive in the scene?

4. Why is Hal hesitant after Catherine asks him about sex at the Conference?

5. What is Claire doing with the house?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Who is Sophie Germain?

4. What has Hal found in the locked drawer, and why is it so important?

5. What is Hal's song Imaginary Number?

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

7. Why is Claire so worried when Catherine cannot explain the police presence at the house the night before?

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

9. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Catherine is angry and upset when Hal steals the notebook. She goes so far as to call the police, though he confesses as soon as she finds it and claims he wanted to give it back to her as a gift.

1.) Though he may have been planning to give it back, Hal attempted to steal on of her late father's possessions. Does Catherine overreact in this situation?

2.) What does Catherine think he may be trying to do with the information in the notebook?

Essay Topic 2

PROOF is a play, not a novel, and is meant to be viewed and performed in front of an audience. Discuss the structure of the play and why or why not it is effective.

1.) What do you think an audience is meant to take away from the play? What major elements of the play make it different from a novel?

2.) Did you notice a difference between reading the play by yourself and hearing it read aloud?

3.) How do stage directions play a role in understanding the play?

Essay Topic 3

Catherine has had the proof finished for quite some time, but shows it to no one until she gives Hal the key to the upstairs drawer.

1.) Why does Catherine choose Hal to whom she reveals the groundbreaking proof? Does it matter to Catherine that Claire is present as well, or is that just circumstance?

2.) Catherine does not seemed surprised when Claire does not believe her, but is extremely hurt when Hal is unsure. Why does Hal's skepticism upset her so much?

3.) Is Catherine excited about her work, or has mathematics been soured for her by her father's death?

(see the answer keys)

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