The Comedians 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. Why, according to Philipot, did Jones die?

2. Why does Brown leave the military base?

3. When Brown unexpectedly sees Philipot and Joseph emerge from the woods, what physical state is Joseph in?

4. When the passengers aboard the Medea have a night of entertainment, what is the first event?

5. A Tonton Macoute strikes up a conversation with Brown. Who is this man?

Short Essay Questions

1. Throughout Part 1, Chapter 4, the reader sees an interplay of men in power. How does this affect the story? In this situation, does power have meaning?

2. 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?

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

4. In his mother's desk, Brown finds a disk which Doctor Magiot recognizes as a medal of the resistance. What does this reveal about his mother?

5. When Captain Concasseur returns to Haiti, his single goal is to catch Jones. How is this fitting to Jones's character? What about to the character of Haitian politics?

6. The Smiths knew that when Mr. Smith ran for president, he had very little chance of succeeding. Why are they still proud that he ran? How does this pride explain their characters?

7. Brown's first notice from his mother comes in the form of two sentences written on a postcard. How is this indicative of his relationship with her? What does this postcard tell the reader about her pride?

8. In Part 1, Chapter 5, Brown notes that he cannot remember Martha's voice, though he can picture her handwriting. What clue does this give the reader about their relationship?

9. 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?

10. Jones is the mysterious guest whom Captain Concasseur is protecting at Mere Catherine's and the man who was occupied with Tin Tin. What is the effect of this surprise? How does it help to reveal Jones's character further?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the times Brown is held at gunpoint by Captain Concasseur. What does he have to lose? Why does he react differently? How is the captain's attitude different? What are their roles in both scenes? For example, in the second incident, Brown notes that a person would not hesitate to shoot someone he sees as worthless.

Essay Topic 2

What role does Angel play in the novel? Could it be said that he acts as Brown's conscience, or is he merely an annoying child? Why is Martha so attached to him and how does this attachment change her relationship with Brown?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter Two of the first section, Brown notes that the ambassador is proud of what he owns, yet in the case of his wife he is perhaps willing to share. Examine the ambassador's character in comparison to this statement. Why, in light of the Haitian culture that the author explains, is possession so important? What does this say about the ambassador's marriage?

(see the answer keys)

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