The Names 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. In what part of his apartment is James at the end of Chapter 3?

2. In Chapter 1, what does James say is the only thing he can remember in Greek?

3. In Chapter 5, what does James say that Lindsay Keller avoids doing?

4. Why does Charles Maitland get angry at James at the end of Chapter 7?

5. Who else is on the bus that Volterra, James, and Del take in Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Owen in Chapter 5, Why does the world hate America?

2. What indication exists in Chapter 1 that relations are strained between James and Kathryn?

3. Why are the Axtons separated?

4. How has Charles Maitland changed of late?

5. Describe the awkward lunch at the beginning of Chapter 7.

6. How do Kathryn and James discuss their relationship in Chapter 2?

7. What conversation do Eliades and James have at dinner in Chapter 3?

8. Why does James Axton like having late-night talks with Owen and Kathryn?

9. What does James Axton do in Europe?

10. What plan does Volterra have for his life after film?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the character of Frank Volterra. What is his connection to the Axtons, and how does he find himself in the search of the language cult? Discuss how DeLillo paints Volterra with a different brush that the other characters. Is he, in essence, a caricature of the temperamental auteur director? How does Del Nearing's attachment to Volterra humanize him to a certain point?

Essay Topic 2

The world of The Names is one in which truth and facts are subjective. One can never be certain what is real and what is imagined. As such, there are a plethora of ambiguous characters in the novel. Write an essay about three such characters, discussing what they appear to be and what they are. How is the narrative affected by each of these characters? What deceptions do they perpetrate, and to what end? Is each characters' objectives identified by the end of the novel?

Part 1) Eliades

Part 2) Rowser

Part 3) Andahl

Essay Topic 3

The place of America in the international community is a recurring motif in the narrative. How are all of the main characters - James Axton, Kathryn Axton, and Owen Brademas - at the back and call of this place? What new dangers are emerging from the ether in regards to Americans abroad? How is James Axton an operative of America in the hostile international world? How does Eliades represent the opposite, a spokesman and operative for a disgruntled world?

(see the answer keys)

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