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

2. What classes does Reuven study?

3. What is one topic of conversation between Reuven and Michael the next day after the fair?

4. What sects have inhabited the narrator's neighborhood?

5. Why does Michael hate orthodox Jews?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Abe Greenfield and his problem at opening of Chapter 8.

2. Who does the narrator meet in Spring of 1950 that changes his view some about his religion?

3. What do Danny, Rachel, Reuven and Eileen go to see and what is their response?

4. How does the narrator's neighborhood change in the early 1950s?

5. What does Michael say about the universe when he is back home after the fair?

6. Describe Reuven and Michael's phone conversation.

7. Describe Reuven's visit with Danny.

8. What does Reuven reveal in a flashback?

9. Describe Rav Kalman.

10. What are the narrator's plans for his schooling and what were the influences on his choice?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The Promise, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy (or at least optimistic) note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Promise and whether or not The Promise fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Promise is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Kalman picks on Reuven by having him read Gemora aloud and critiques his interpretations. Reuven reads Kalman's book on ethics. Discuss the following:

1. What is ethics? How do you think the topic figures in during the telling of The Promise?

2. Why do you think Kalman is picking on Reuven in class?

3. Do you think it is ironic that Kalman wrote a book on ethics and yet he obviously picks on a student just because Kalman sees him with someone with whom Kalman disagrees?

4. Discuss the major characters (Kalman, Reuven, Danny, Professor Gordon, Michael Gordon and David Malter) and tell why you think each is ethical or not, giving one example for each to illustrate your point.

Essay Topic 3

In The Promise, the most visible and important characters are male. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think novels more often have a male hero than a female one?

2. Do you believe Rachael is as capable (or more so) than Reuven or Daniel? Would the novel be as interesting to you if she were the one that was in a difficult position with Rav Kalman? Why or why not.

3. Do you think females (in the real world) are just as likely and capable as males to be heroes? Why or why not?

4. Would you rather read a book with a male or female hero or do you have a preference? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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