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 interrupts Catherine and Robert's conversation?

2. Why does Hal attempt to steal the notebook?

3. What has Claire given Catherine to wear to the funeral?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Hal sensitive about getting older?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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