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. What name do others use to refer to the group who intends to invade Sakiel-Norn?

2. What happened the week after Iris and Richard's wedding?

3. What did the girls call their tutor because of her last name?

4. Who drives Iris to Montreal to see the lawyer?

5. What does X do to the tongueless virgin?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In chapter 5, how do the two sisters feel toward their governess, Miss Violence?

4. In chapter 1, the protagonist of the sub novel looks at a picture. What does this picture depict?

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

6. Why is it awkward between Liliana and Norval Chase when he returns from the war?

7. How does Norval Chase respond to the stock market crash and following economic depression?

8. In chapter 4, what is Richard Griffen's stance on creating jobs throughout government stimulus plans implemented in America by Franklin D. Roosevelt?

9. Do you think X's chose the right course of action regarding the tongueless virgin?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the relationship between author and story, and fiction and nonfiction as presented in the novel. Iris never explicitly mentions her affair with Alex within the memoir, while her meetings with him serve as the basis for the frame narrative of 'The Blind Assassin'. To what extent do you think 'The Blind Assassin' represents the reality of Iris and Alex's affair and to what extent do you think Iris fictionalizes the story? How does this relate to the novel as a whole? Do you think Atwood's novel is at all based in her own reality? Give examples to support your view from the text.

Essay Topic 2

"The Blind Assassin" has a unique structure, incorporating Laura's novel, Iris's memoir, and newspaper clippings. Do you think that this adds or detracts from the novel? Why or why not? Give evidence from the text to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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