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. At the end of Chapter 7, what items are the Maitlands stockpiling?

2. What offer does James make to Charles in Chapter 4?

3. In Chapter 2, James says that Kathryn once attacked him with what household item?

4. At dinner in Chapter 3, the expatriates decide that traveling is like collecting what?

5. In Chapter 4, James marvels that he can barely read the Greek writing on what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What strange coincidence does James notice at the end of Chapter 6?

2. Describe Tap Axton.

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

4. Describe the tiff that Charles Maitland and James have at the end of Chapter 7.

5. Why is James ridiculed by his friends in the beginning of Chapter 1?

6. In Chapter 4, what plan does Kathryn have for after her dig ends?

7. What theory about the language cult does James present to Owen in Chapter 7?

8. How does Kathryn rise quickly in Owen Brademas's dig?

9. What does James Axton do in Europe?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In DeLillo's novel, objects and words take on symbolic value. Some of this becomes inchoate as a result of age and divine intent. Some of it is created in the mind of the observer. Write an essay discussing the significance of certain objects in the book. What individual is engrossed with this object, and what reasons does he or she give? What effect does this object have on characters? What divine significance does this object have in relation to other elements of the novel?

Part 1) The Acropolis

Part 2) The Cuneiform the archeologist hires a boy to read on a high precipice.

Part 3) The Ta Onomata boulder

Essay Topic 2

In The Names, Don DeLillo sets up two mysteries that seem at one point to be connected. Write an essay discussing the reality behind both mysteries and how DeLillo juxtaposes them. Which two entities are aware of James Axton, and which one specifically attempts to harm him? What inclinations does he have that either of these entities is on to him? Which entity does Eliades belong to? How the reality behind either entity revealed in the narrative?

Essay Topic 3

The expatriates of The Names have a decorum and a series of systems they use as they travel through Europe and Asia. Write an essay about the qualms, Concerns, recommendations, and preferences that permeate the characters' conversations and actions? What do they take care always to do? What do they avoid at all costs? How do these decisions reflect a changing world and the dangers that will emerge throughout the novel? How is traveling in this period different from previous expatriation and the international travel of today?

(see the answer keys)

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