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. Where did Claire want Catherine to stay, instead of coming back to the house to care for Robert?

2. Why is Claire concerned after speaking with the policemen?

3. What does Claire want to do after the funeral?

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

5. What organic chemical(s) is contained in the beauty product Claire wishes Catherine to try?

Short Essay Questions

1. Does Claire believe that Catherine wrote the proof? Why or why not?

2. Why is Hal insistent on going through all of Robert's notebooks?

3. How does Catherine get Hal to leave?

4. Why has Hal decided that Catherine wrote the proof?

5. Why was Hal the first person to whom Catherine showed the proof?

6. Why is the date in the scene particularly significant?

7. Is Hal personally conflicted about taking the notebook?

8. How is Claire's personality different from Catherine's?

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

10. Why or why not does Catherine want to attend the University of Chicago?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of students in bookstores for Robert. When does the audience first hear it from Robert? What is the significance of the second time the audience hears Robert talk about students and bookstores? What are the implications for Robert as a teacher?

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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