Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Eagleman
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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. Adhesion: What do the creators of this afterlife want to understand?

2. Missing: Where did God learn about divorce and marital separation?

3. The Unnatural: What happens to you at the end of the story?

4. Angst: How often do those in the afterlife get a vacation from their job?

5. Oz: What does the Creator really look like?

Short Essay Questions

1. Descent of Species: People in this afterlife are able to determine what they want to be in the next life. However, what can happen if they aren't careful?

2. The Unnatural: Why do people begin to think that death refers to the death of motivation?

3. Adhesion: What is the adhesive (alluded to in the title) that holds humans together in this story?

4. Descent of Species: What does the human-turned-horse realize right before he can no longer think?

5. Sum: In this afterlife all of your life experiences are grouped together. You can't experience something different until you have run through all of the experience in one chain. For example, you can't take a shower until you are in the shower experience period of the afterlife. Why would this make you long for your life on earth?

6. Distance: Everyone in this afterlife is allowed to ask the Creator one question. One man asks why God keeps himself separate from man. What is God's answer?

7. Missing: Why is the dispute over God's gender irrelevant in this story?

8. The Cast: As you live your life, all of the people in the background of your life are actors. They are those in the afterlife who must play "roles" in your life. However, not every actor is happy being a character in your life. Why are they so dissatisfied?

9. Great Expectations: In this story the people who create and program afterlives are basically selling a false product, though not intentionally. How is it that people are mistaken in their understanding of the afterlife?

10. Giantess: Why does the princely looking man in this afterlife study humans?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Unnatural:

The Unnatural part of this story is the absence of death. The reader is shown a world in which death is not a fear and where people will go to great lengths to reinsert death into life. Can you imagine a world in which there is no death? What would that world be like? Do you think people would wish to commit suicide and kill others? Why or why not? What do you think gives life meaning? Does death give meaning to life? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Seed:

God has slipped into seclusion because he is afraid that he will disappoint man. You see, he created man by complete accident. As man becomes smarter it is harder for God to impress him.

What do you think about this? Do you think science has made it harder for people to be impressed by God? Why or why not? Should God feel like an amateur magician because his creation of man was a mistake? Should he feel good because man is a great creation? Why do you feel the way you do?

Please keep your answers within the context of the story.

Essay Topic 3

Narcissus:

The Cartographers have created man to help them map the earth. Man is equipped with cameras with which to view the terrain and bring images back to the Cartographers in the afterlife. But man ends up disappointing their creators. How does man disappoint the Cartographers? Why is man more interested in other people than in the earth? If this were a real scenario, do you think it would really happen this way? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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