Proof Test | Final 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. According to Robert, if the thesis "feels done," then...

2. What is Robert opposed to having for dinner?

3. When Claire asks Catherine to recite the proof, how does Catherine reply?

4. Where does Catherine reveal she is going to school?

5. Why does Claire resent mathematicians?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Robert examining in the proof?

2. Why is Claire worried about Catherine?

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

4. What decision has Catherine made about school?

5. What do Robert and Catherine decide to do for dinner?

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

7. How does Catherine meet Hal?

8. Does Hal believe that Catherine wrote the proof? Why or why not?

9. Describe Robert's demeanor throughout the scene.

10. How does Catherine react when Claire and Hal do not believe her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play, there is a fine line between madness and genius; kindness and presumption. Discuss this fine line as it applies to:

1.) Robert.

2.) Catherine.

3.) Claire.

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

Robert is angry when Catherine tells him she is going to school.

1.) Does this instance parallel any other occurrence in the play where a character secretly make a big change?

2.) What is Robert worried about in regards to Catherine starting school?

3.) Is Catherine worried about Robert in this scene? How do their individual fears escalate the conversation?

(see the answer keys)

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