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. With whom is Reuven dissatisfied in the flashback?

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

3. What is one adjective that describes Kalman?

4. Who has gotten in fist fights with others?

5. What happens to Michael between the time of his breaking down at the fair and then arriving home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Nota Finkel and for what is he noted?

2. What does Danny tell Reuven about Michael?

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

4. What does Reuven say about the Hasid?

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

6. Describe the elderly man who is the father of the booth attendant at the dice game.

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of The Promise concerns theology. Many of the major characters are either Rabbis or studying to become a Rabbi. Michael, who is still a boy, makes perhasp some of the most interesting statements about god. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think Michael means when he says "God is smoke"?

2. Michael says he cannot get God out of his mind--discuss that statement in light of Michael's personality.

3. Are Michael's problems mostly spiritual; mostly psychological, or a combination of the two? Discuss thoroughly with examples.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of The Promise, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements (They may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not.

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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