The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Test | Final Test - Hard

Simon Winchester
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 137 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. How did the author describe Murray's instructions in the beginning of Chapter 7, Entering the Lists?

2. In 1915, which newspaper did the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary write to and complain about the story of Murray meeting Minor in the asylum?

3. How did the author describe Murray's work in Chapter 8, Annulated, Art, Brick-Tea, Buckwheat?

4. What quality did many people who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary admire in Minor?

5. The Scriptorium made out of ______________.

Short Essay Questions

1. It is suggested that Murray's letter to Minor was a token of forgiveness. Why?

2. Why do you think Murray so grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take to finish the Oxford English Dictionary after the first publication of the first book?

3. Was it good that Minor began to view the asylum as his home?

4. What can one infer from the fact that Minor had many people who wrote letters to Broadmoor, inquiring about his health and well-being?

5. Do you think it is the author's opinion that electroshock therapy affected Minor?

6. What was miraculous about Mrs. Merrett deciding to see Minor at Broadmoor?

7. Why is it important, in relation to Minor's past, that the author states that people admired Minor for his meticulous work?

8. What does the author give as the chief purpose behind Minor's self-mutilation? Was it achieved?

9. What about Murray does the author feel may have triggered Minor's religious feelings of guilt and shame for his past misdeeds?

10. What is controversial about the story of the meeting of Minor and Murray?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"The English-speaking world is better off for the death of Charles Merrett." How could this statement be considered to be true? Do you think the author agrees? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

What narrative devices does the author employ in painting a vivid picture of life in 19th and early 20th Century England?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the links the author draws between various vices such as sex, drugs, and alcohol and their influence on the events of the story.

(see the answer keys)

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