|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Which of the following is not a named object that Tap and James debate the meaning of in Chapter 1?
2. Looking at the methodology of the cult in Chapter 7, James realizes that the actual murders are what?
3. What does James list out in Chapter 1 to annoy Kathryn?
4. In Chapter 1, what word does Kathryn bet James that Tap knows?
5. In Chapter 5, what does James say that Lindsay Keller avoids doing?
Short Essay Questions
1. What do Owen and James talk about at the end of Chapter 2?
2. Describe the awkward lunch at the beginning of Chapter 7.
3. What theory about the language cult does James present to Owen in Chapter 7?
4. What plan does Volterra have for his life after film?
5. Describe the tiff that Charles Maitland and James have at the end of Chapter 7.
6. According to Owen in Chapter 5, Why does the world hate America?
7. Why is Owen uncomfortable talking about the Feast of the Virgin in Chapter 2?
8. How has Charles Maitland changed of late?
9. What theories do Kathryn and Owen posit about the killings in Chapter 5?
10. How is Owen's connection to the cave people addressed in Chapter 4?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
The action of Don DeLillo's The Names largely centers on a group of westerners' search for the language cult that stalks Eurasia. Each of these men has a reason for seeking this death-cult, and each has tactics that yield varying success. Write an essay about the individual quests for the cult in the novel:
Part 1) Why does Frank Volterra want to find the death cult in The Names, and what is his intention when he does find them? Discuss how Volterra initially hears about the cult, and what tactic he uses to find them. What success does this yield? Why does the director give up?
Part 2) Why does James Axton want to find the cult? Discuss what other events in his life coincide with this dangerous quest. What does James discover about the cult, and how? How is his sense of sanity affected by this? What new fears and obsessions does the search evoke?
Part 3) Why does Owen Brademas want to find the death cult? How does his childhood relate to his goals in the quest? Discuss what tactics and skills make Owen Brademas the most successful of the searchers in the novel. Why, in the end, does Owen consider his search a failure?
Essay Topic 2
Write an essay about the marriage and separation of James and Kathryn Axton. How did their marriage affect each others individual life and goals? What state is the marriage in when the novel begins, and how did it reach this point? Discuss how Kathryn and James' personalities and lifestyles change after the separation. What idiosyncrasies are revealed as a result? What finally breaks the marriage apart for good, and how does the veneer of cordiality disappear as a result?
Essay Topic 3
Violence occurs intermittently throughout The Names, and when it falls, the violence comes quickly and partially witnessed. It is ambiguous in its intent and raises all sorts of questions. Write an essay about moments of violence in the novel:
Part 1) Discuss the first murder. Who makes not of it first in the novel? Is it witnessed, first-hand by any character? How does Owen connect the violence to the people he met in the cave? What inquiries lead to the connection of the first murder to the ones that came before and after it?
Part 2) How does Owen experience his only murder with the death cult? Is he actually present when the man is bludgeoned to death? Why or why not? In assessing the effect of this violence on him as a character, discuss what leads up to the murder and what follows it.
Part 3) How is David Keller shot in the novel? Who shoots him, and why? How does James Axton, and by proxy the reader, experience this act of violence in the novel? Discuss what concerns and doubts it creates in the protagonist's mind. How is the act explained?
This section contains 1,229 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)