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. What is Catherine's explanation as to why she wrote the proof?

2. What is the stage direction for Catherine reading the proof?

3. What time of year is it in Act 2, Scene 4?

4. Why is Hal huffy when Claire guesses why he has come to the house?

5. Does Hal go with them to dinner?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is Robert upset that Catherine plans to leave? Why or why not?

2. Describe why Claire allows Hal to take the notebook.

3. Why is Robert so excited about working?

4. Why is Claire worried about Catherine?

5. Where has Catherine come from to check on Robert?

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

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

8. When did Catherine write the proof?

9. What does Claire think is the problem with mathematicians in emotional situations?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Compare and contract Catherine and Claire. Though they are sisters, they have very different personalities.

1.) How did Claire want Robert's illness handled? How did Catherine want it handled?

2.) What pressure does Claire feel in regards to her family? What pressure does Catherine feel?

3.) How and why does Claire's intervention in her life offend Catherine?

Essay Topic 3

Hal and Robert are each afraid of getting old and losing their edge. They think mathematics is a young man's game, and very quickly a mathematician is past his prime.

1.) Could this idea have anything to do with Robert's illness? He works so hard to match his former genius, but cannot---could this be a contributing factor?

2.) Hal jokes that he has resigned himself to a teaching position. Do you think there is more it? Is Hal disappointed in his own lack of genius?

3.) Describe the lengths mathematicians go to in order to retain their edge, as described by Hal. How competitive is this field?

(see the answer keys)

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