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. Why did Hall not come to the great dictionary dinner?

2. How long did each book of the dictionary take Minor to complete?

3. Which word did Murray have so much trouble with that it had to be sent to Dr. Minor?

4. What style of building was Broadmoor?

5. Why didn't Minor attend the great dictionary dinner?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. The author compares Murray to a general on a battlefield. Why?

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

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

5. What does Murray's Scriptorium represent to present day scholars of the English language?

6. The author only briefly mentions Dr. Hall's absence from the dinner. Why is this significant in relation to his opinion of Minor?

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

8. 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?

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

10. In Chapter 6, what do the author's previously established characteristics of Minor suggest about how he may have gotten along with the parole patients in Block 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It could be argued that the author portrays a sense of injustice regarding the events surrounding Minor's diagnosis as being criminally insane and eventual incarceration. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

The author opens the book with the dictionary entry for the word "murder." Discuss the reasons why he might have done this with reference to the people mentioned in the book, the book's central subject of The Oxford English Dictionary, and the author's own interests.

Essay Topic 3

Explore the ways in which self-delusion is important to the events in the text. Make reference to Minor as well as at least one other figure.

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