Telling Secrets 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 telling his father's story as a child, who does Teddy represent in this story?

2. What place did the author see as an act of God in his life that he paralleled to the entry into the Promised Land?

3. In what month during1936 did the author's father commit suicide?

4. According to the author, what does God give us that helps us finish with the past and remove the power of the past to hurt us?

5. On what street was the apartment in which the author's mother died?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the author's mother's bedroom in her 79th street apartment.

2. How did the author's mother's aging affect her sons' lives?

3. How does the author describe his father's suicide?

4. What did the author deal with in first two autobiographies?

5. How is the author's story, our story?

6. What was on the stained glass pieces in the author's office?

7. What is the most sacred function of memory?

8. Why does the author write "The Wizard's Tide" and what differs in the book from his childhood memory of his father's death?

9. Why did the author's mother have so few friends as she got older?

10. How does the author describe God loving us, and loving his daughter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain what the author means when he writes that by watching and listening we are praying. How does God speak to us in quietness? What is "God's place" in us? What deadens us to God's presence within us? How does Psalm 131 illustrate these points from the author?

Essay Topic 2

On page 10 of the book, the author writes that "don't talk, don't trust, don't feel" is supposed to be the unwritten law of dysfunctional families. How does this "law" manifest itself in the author's life as a child when his father commits suicide, as well as in the immediate events following his father's death (e.g. the lack of a funeral, the family move out of the country, the mother's behavior, ...); and how does the "law manifest itself in later events involving the author and his brother's relationship with their mother as she aged?

Essay Topic 3

The author talks about the pluralism of Harvard Divinity School. What makes Harvard pluralistic (as described by the author)? What happens in the author's Harvard classroom that helps him conclude that pluralism can become factionalism? What is factionalism (as presented in the book)?

(see the answer keys)

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