The Promise 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. Who says it is not a good day to visit?

2. Of what does Kalman remind Reuven?

3. Where do the narrator and Rachel spend the summer together?

4. Who does Reuven call the day after he and Michael go sailing?

5. Who does Reuven arrange to meet?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Michael enraged with Reuven?

2. What does Danny tell Reuven about Michael?

3. Describe the neighborhood in which the narrator lives at the opening of the The Promise.

4. About whom does Rachel ask Reuven and what is his reply?

5. What does Michael tell Reuven about Michael's nosebleeds?

6. Who does Reuven encounter at the library and what is the person doing?

7. What does Kalman discuss with Reuven after class concerning Professor Gordon?

8. How does Danny's father raise Danny?

9. What is the topic of Michael's long-winded monologue to Reuven?

10. What does Reuven tell his father about his meetings with Rav Kalman and what is David Malter's response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of change. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with change? Why? What are some symbols of change? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of mental/emotional illness. Which characters struggle with some sort of emotional illness? Why? Which characters seem really healthy emotionally/mentally? Why? How is Michael Gordon's emotional problems a metaphor for the changes taking place in the realm of Jewish theology?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of tradition. What is Reuven's view of tradition? Kalman's? Michael Gordon's? Professor Gordon's? Why is tradition important to some characters? Is anyone willing to abandon traditional viewpoints? Who? What are the positive and negative sides to tradition?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 4, the narrator says that Danny is raised by his father with a barrier of silence - they only spoke when they studied Talmud. This was to teach Danny suffering. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think Rebbe Saunders' method of raising Danny helped him to learn about suffering?

2. What else do you think it may have taught Danny?

3. Why do you think Rebbe Saunders thinks Danny needs to learn suffering?

4. Do you think Danny's mother had any say in the way Danny is raised in silence?

Essay Topic 3

Characters are an integral and important part of almost all novels. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the characters of Reuven Malter and Daniel Saunders. How are they similar? How are they different? Is there a flaw in each of their personalities? Is either man's cause more worthy than the other? Be specific and give examples.

2. Compare/contrast the characters of David Malter and Rav Kalman. How do they seem different? Which do you like more? Why? Which one seems more of a well-rounded character?

3. Thoroughly analyze how three of the secondary characters help drive the plot and what their contribution is to the storyline. Are any of the secondary characters unnecessary? Indispensable? Which of the secondary characters are likable? Which are either unlikable or even despicable? Be specific and give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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