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. What does Hal do after Catherine quotes Gauss' letter to Sophie Germain?

2. Who paid the mortgage on the house during Robert's illness?

3. In her conversation with Robert, why is Catherine worried?

4. What fields did Robert, in his younger days, make significant contributions to, according to Hal?

5. How many days has Catherine "lost"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. When did Hal and Catherine first meet?

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

4. Why does Hal try to take the notebook?

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

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

7. Why is Hal sensitive about getting older?

8. What is Hal's song Imaginary Number?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hal admits at the end of Act 2 not only that the proof is correct, but that he was wrong and should have believe Catherine the first time. How does this admission vindicate her? She proceeds not to explicitly forgive him, but does agree to sit down and explain the proof. Is this perhaps the first time she has ever had the opportunity to talk to anyone about her work? What fear does she reveal to Hal? What are the implications for the future as she begins to explain the proof to Hal?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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