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. What simple fact of commonality gives Owen comfort in Chapter 2?

2. What admission does Ann make to James in Chapter 4?

3. What unusual thing do the Keller's do late at night in Chapter 3?

4. What country is David Keller going to be air-dropped into in Chapter 5?

5. In Chapter 5, what has Volterra recently done that has made headlines?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is James and Kathryn's relationship with Volterra?

3. What story does Owen tell about a cave in Chapter 2?

4. How has Charles Maitland changed of late?

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

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

7. Describe Kathryn and James' argument in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the relationship between James and Tap Axton. What do father and son do together throughout the novel, and how does the impending divorce affect this activity? What habits does Tap have that alienate him from James? Discuss whether DeLillo paints a picture of a father and son relationship that seems strong in any way. What other character seems more like a father figure to Tap?

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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