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. To whom does the conversation between Danny and Reuven turn after talking about Rachel?

2. What happens to Michael while he is arguing?

3. Who is Danny?

4. With whom does Kotzker Rebbe have disagreements?

5. To what time does a flashback go?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Reuven reveal in a flashback?

2. What happens between October and December for Reuven?

3. What does Reuven say about the Hasid?

4. What rumors infuriate Reuven and his father?

5. What does Michael say about orthodox Jews?

6. What does Danny tell Reuven about Michael?

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

8. Describe Reuven and Michael's phone conversation.

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

10. Who does Reuven call the day after sailing with Michael and what is the result?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Reuven asks his father about Kotzker, who it turns out is an eccentric rabbi who has shut himself up in a room for twenty years and has disagreements with many Hasidic sects.

Discuss the following:

1. Research the historical Kotzker Rebbe and write an informative essay on him and how the historical facts match up with what is said in The Promise.

2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a scholar isolating himself for twenty years.

3. Can you ever think of a reason you would isolate yourself for twenty years?

4. Relate the anecdote about Kotzker Rebbe to the theme of silence in the Promise. What other situations are related to the theme of silence? Who tries to silence other? Why?

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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