The Comedians Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. As the hearse is stranded in the road, what does Madame Philipot promise to buy for her son?
(a) A lollipop.
(b) Popcorn.
(c) Vanilla ice cream.
(d) Chocolate cookies.

2. After the war, how did Brown feed himself?
(a) By copying famous painters and selling the pieces at high prices.
(b) By buying a hotel and becoming a businessman.
(c) By taking a job he is not proud of and does not describe.
(d) By working in the Political Intelligence Department.

3. Sitting by the pool on his first night home, what does Brown remember?
(a) His conversation with Mrs. Smith.
(b) The sounds of the busy tourist season.
(c) Joseph's list of things that have gone wrong in his absence.
(d) The smell of Martha's perfume.

4. What is the name of the Tonton Macoute who begins speaking to Brown?
(a) Petit Pierre.
(b) Captain Henderson.
(c) Captain Concasseur.
(d) Tin Tin.

5. How does Brown perceive his relationship to Martha, primarily?
(a) As co-conspirators rather than lovers.
(b) As mere amusement in his boring life.
(c) As star-crossed lovers.
(d) As the most important part of his life.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do Brown and the Secretary of the Interior converse briefly in French?

2. Where does Brown get his information about the curfew in Haiti?

3. In a late-night conversation, Brown and Jones talk about their official jobs titles, which are vague. What does this tell the reader about their relationship?

4. How does Brown think of Mr. Smith even before he knows his name?

5. Why did Brown give Marcel a large amount of British money?

Short Essay Questions

1. Brown spends approximately one day in the Dominican Republic as he tries to get money and an exit visa. How does this country differ from Haiti? What changes does Brown note in the people, attitudes, buildings, and scenery?

2. On the way to the hotel immediately after his arrival in Haiti, Brown and Martha are stopped at a roadblock and searched. What is the purpose of telling this scene?

3. After visiting Martha and her husband at the embassy, what drives Brown to Mere Catherine's? Is he satisfied there?

4. Doctor Magiot's funeral oration for Philipot consists mostly of the consolation that he died a natural death, which is to say he was not murdered. Considering the political environment, is this a compliment? What about the dead man's sense of mathematics?

5. In Part 1, Chapter 5, the small funeral entourage that drives to Petionville to bury Doctor Philipot is in a great hurry. Why is this? How does this tie in with the doctor's death?

6. From a literary aspect, what is the effect of portraying Jones as an actor who has not learned his lines well? Why does the author use this characterization throughout the book?

7. In Chapter 1 of Part 1, Brown and Jones meet as Jones is attempting to bribe the steward to switch their rooms. How is this first scene indicative of Jones's character?

8. With the thought that Doctor Philipot's spirit might be hovering around the body, hoping for an encouraging word of send-off, Brown purposely speaks trivial words about eating eggs in the morning. What does this tell the reader about his perception of death? How does it fit the tone of the book?

9. What is the purpose of the night of entertainment aboard the ship, in Part 1, Chapter 1?

10. Brown does not give a definition of the Tonton Macoutes until Part 3, Chapter 4. How does this reinforce to the reader what the characters experienced?

(see the answer keys)

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