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 was Claire drinking with the night before?

2. Why is Claire selling the house?

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

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

5. What is the lighting direction at the end of the scene?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Hal's mood the morning after he and Catherine sleep together.

2. What is Hal's song Imaginary Number?

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

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

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

6. Who is Sophie Germain?

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

8. Are Claire and Catherine very comfortable around one another?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Robert and Catherine have a very unique father/daughter relationship.

1.) Describe why their relationship is different from most. Are there any role reversals?

2.) Do Claire and Robert share a similar bond, or are Catherine and Robert two peas in a pod?

3.) They each have very specific fears they voice in the play. What are these fears? How do they differ? How are they similar?

Essay Topic 2

Claire says that mathematician don't think: they just create catastrophes and expect other people to come in and clean them up.

1.) How is this true of Robert? Of Hal? Of Catherine?

2.) Does Claire feel she is cleaning up Hal's mess? Robert's mess?

3.) Does Claire feel that Robert should have been in professional care? How would this have changed events in the play?

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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