Shadow & Claw 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. When Severian wakes up following the challenge, who is sitting in the chair next to him?

2. After breakfast, what does Severian go to find when he leaves Dr. Talos?

3. Severian believes that going over the process of the execution with Agilus will help give him what?

4. What will Severian's new position be following Thecla's death?

5. Severian gives Agilus instructions to prevent what at his execution?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why isn't the guild able to pass judgement on the people who are sent there?

2. What does Severian realize about the ferryman who carries him and Agia across the river to get the avern?

3. What is Dorcas unable to do when she is pulled from the river?

4. Why does Severian hide the coin he receives from Vodalus?

5. What reason does Master Palaemon give Severian that the guild is unable to punish or kill Severian for helping Thecla?

6. Why does Severian refuse to take Agia's advice about the duel with the masked man?

7. What happened to the other men that Agilus and Agia had challenged in the same manner as Severian?

8. How does the machine that Thecla is strapped to make a person feel?

9. How do Severian and his challenger attack each other with the averns?

10. What does Thecla hope the Autarch will do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does the beautiful and frightening woman in the water thrust Severian from the water as a boy, but later invite him to join her in the water and be a king? Why didn't she simply take him with her when he was younger? Why does she want him to join her now?

Essay Topic 2

Death is treated with much ceremony and dignity throughout Shadow & Claw. What does this treatment of death reveal about Severian? What does it reveal about the author's own thoughts on death?

Essay Topic 3

Describe compassion as a motif of Shadow & Claw. In what instances do we see compassion in the novel? Who shows compassion? Does compassion seem to be a strange motif given the nature of Severian's profession? Did the author chose to make Severian a compassionate man?

(see the answer keys)

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