The Blind Assassin 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. Who hosts a reception for Iris?

2. One of the newspaper articles describes the awarding of a prize for a high school student. For whom is this prize named?

3. What word does Richard use to describe the way he feels toward Iris?

4. What hobby does Laura take up?

5. What item does the man often ask the woman to bring him?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter 1, what is the official conclusion of Laura's cause of death?

2. On her deathbed, Iris's mother tells her to promise to do something for her. What does Iris promise her mother she will do?

3. How does Laura respond to living with Richard and Iris?

4. In chapter 1, do you think Iris is too concerned with maintaining appearances?

5. In chapter 1, Iris says "some people can't tell where it hurts. They can't calm down. They can't ever stop howling." Who do you think is/are the "they" she had in mind?

6. In chapter 4, X is hired to kill the king. How is X supposed to get close enough to the king to kill him?

7. At the end of chapter 6, the man is writing a story including characters X, Y, Z, and B. What is this story about?

8. In chapter 4, how does the woman feel about the man's story?

9. What is the fate of slave children who make the carpets in Sakiel-Norn?

10. How did the Snilfards prevent the sacrifice of their daughters?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose a character for the novel and answer the following questions about the character:

1. What traits define the character?

2. What is the character's role in the novel?

3. How does this character relate to other characters?

4. How is this character developed?

5. How would the novel change if the character were removed?

Essay Topic 2

In many ways, the man's story in 'The Blind Assassin' is his way of telling the woman how he feels about the society in which they live. Explain the significance of each of the man's stories in terms of what universal truth or social commentary he is attempting to communicate to the woman with the story. What people or groups of people do the characters in the man's stories represent? Why does the man use stories to convey his beliefs rather than a more straightforward form?

Essay Topic 3

Iris often reflects on the idea of heaven and hell. At the end of the novel, Iris comes to a conclusion about heaven and hell very similar to the conclusion drawn by the men in the story of the Peach Women of Aa'A. What is this conclusion? Using this conclusion, look at the settings in the story and determine whether these locations are representative of heaven or hell. Also, be sure to examine the significance of gardens and fire in terms of heaven and hell, as well as the implications of literary allusions, such as the importance of the literary roots of Xanadu and Avilion and Iris's name in the context of the passage from the Aeneid Laura leavers for her sister? Be sure to consider ways in which places that appear to be heaven can actually be hell and vice versa.

(see the answer keys)

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