Reliquary Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. In what year was Linnaeus Hall constructed?

2. What does the frieze in Linnaeus Hall represent?

3. What do the police believe caused the marks found on Pamela's skeleton?

4. What is Snow preparing to do at the opening of Chapter 1?

5. What piece of literature does Mephisto tell Smithback to read before they meet again?

Short Essay Questions

1. What kind of influence do you think a woman like Mrs. Wisher would likely have on the political climate? Does she show that she is willing to use that influence to force matters in the direction she wants them to go? What gives you that indication?

2. To what does Dr. Frock attribute the Mbwun's existence and its unlikely appearance in New York?

3. Why do you think the author mentions his previous book, "Relic"?

4. Who is the homeless man who invades D'Agosta's office, and what is his reason for being there?

5. Why does Hayward say the tunnels are dangerous? Cite examples from the text.

6. How might Margo's expertise in ethnopharmacology be an example of foreshadowing?

7. What about the Museum of Natural History makes its atmosphere àpropos to a book of this genre?

8. Do you think that Bill Smithback would do anything to get the exclusive on a murder investigation? Why or why not? Do his tactics seem moral or sensationa? Why?

9. When Mephisto gives Smithback the nickname "scriblerian," what does he imply?

10. Waxie is a misogynist. What does his presence add to the story, and how does that contribute to the overall storyline?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The New York Museum of Natural History is a stunning backdrop to not one, but two, horrifying stories. While "Reliquary" isn't as dependent on the Museum as its main setting as it was in "Relic," it exudes a frightening air, which only enhances the atmosphere of the book. What is it about the Museum, which makes it a frightening place, and why is it used so frequently?

Essay Topic 2

The second skeleton is a huge mystery to the people investigating and examining it. They can find no obvious cause for the extensive remodeling of the bone structure and are baffled by its existence. What are some of the theories put forward initially? What happens when the skeleton is finally identified?

Essay Topic 3

The flooding of the tunnels to destroy the creatures is an extreme step, especially given the number of innocent people who could be in danger from the flooding. What purpose do you think this moral ambiguity will serve? Do you see it in any other situations in the book? Do you think it serves the same purpose in that instance?

(see the answer keys)

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