The Finkler Question 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 subject did Libor teach at Sam and Julian's school?

2. What does Hephzibah do after leaving her last job?

3. Where is Julian on a school holiday?

4. What does Josephine ask Julian's sons?

5. What name does Sam suggest for a group of radical Jews?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Julian decide to go to dinner at Libor's two nights later?

2. How do Sam and Tyler respond to Sam's invitation to join the ASHamed Jews?

3. What does Julian not understand about his friend Libor?

4. About what do Sam and Tyler feel ashamed?

5. How do Sam and Julian meet Libor?

6. How does Sam react to his wife's dying and death?

7. What happens to Julian one late summer evening in London on his way home?

8. What does Emmy ask of Libor?

9. What does a Gypsy woman tell Julian when he is on a school holiday in Barcelona?

10. What debates does Julian think about as he walks to Regent's Park and what is Julian's thought about what Libor says?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Howard Jacobson.

2. What in Jacobson's background may have helped him in writing The Finkler Question? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of The Finkler Question, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in The Finkler Question. (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Because Malkie always played the piano, Libor hired someone to teach him to play after her death. He tells Julian, "Just when you think you've overcome the grief, you realize you are left with the loneliness" (page 14), causing Julian to wonder if it is better to never know happiness at all so there is less to mourn. Unlike Libor, Sam is consumed with anger because of his wife's death, and the distance between them explains his anger.

1. Discuss reasons it was beneficial for Libor to take piano lessons. Why might it have been harmful to him? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your answer.

2. Do you think it is better to avoid happiness than to risk losing it? Why or why not? Why might it have been harmful to him? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your answer.

3. Why do you think Sam has reacted to Tyler's death with such anger? Discuss the reasons that can be found in the book. Why might it have been harmful to him? Use examples from your own life and the book to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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