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. What book does Reuven read by Kalman on the subway?

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

3. What does Michael say he cannot get out of his head?

4. About whom does Michael fantasize?

5. Who does Reuven arrange to meet?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Danny tell Reuven about Michael?

3. What does Michael say about orthodox Jews?

4. How does Danny's father raise Danny?

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

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

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

8. What has Reuven's father completed during the Fall and early Winter?

9. Where does Professor Gordon invite Reuven and what does Reuven do?

10. What does Reuven reveal in a flashback?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss the irony of the situation whereby Professor Gordon is at a conservative seminary and David Malter is at a liberal seminary . Find two other incidences of irony in The Promise and discuss them.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use of and meaning of five symbols found in The Promise.

3. Discuss the use of foreshadowing in literature. What is the purpose of foreshadowing? Cite 3 examples of foreshadowing and how it is used to indicate events to come in The Promise.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss The Promise based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if The Promise is a successful novel. Explain your rationale with specific examples.

3. Do you think the fact that The Promise deals with a very specific, narrow subject matter changes the criteria upon which its success should be judged? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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