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. Where does Catherine reveal she is going to school?

2. What does Robert compare his creativity to?

3. Who does Hal think has written the proof?

4. Why is Catherine adamant that Robert could not have written the proof?

5. How far behind in school is Catherine, according to Robert?

Short Essay Questions

1. Did Hal intentionally take advantage of Catherine when they slept together?

2. What decision has Catherine made about school?

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

4. How does Catherine get Hal to leave?

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

6. Describe Robert's demeanor throughout the scene.

7. How do Robert's feelings differ between Catherine and Claire?

8. What is Robert examining in the proof?

9. Why has Hal come back to the house after the fight?

10. Is Hal personally conflicted about taking the notebook?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

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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