The Promise Test | Final 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 enrages Michael and causes him to organize a group of boys to try to get out of the treatment center?

2. What languages are difficult for Kalman in reading David Malter's book?

3. How many typographical errors does Reuven's father find in his new book?

4. What does Reuven notice about his father?

5. What do the teachers at Professor Gordon's school think about David Malter's book?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Reuven argue at his smicha exam and why is that upsetting to Kalman and Gershenson?

2. What do Reuven and Professor Gordon discuss when Reuven visits him?

3. What does Reb Saunders tell Reuven and what does Reuven do?

4. What is the essential argument of the second part of Rav Kalman's article attacking David Malter's book?

5. What does Michael say about Rav Kalman's article?

6. Describe the altercation between Kalman and Greenfield.

7. What does Kalman think about Reuven as his student?

8. About what is Reuven's father happy?

9. What does Danny give Michael and what does Michael say about it to Reuven?

10. What does Reuven think about the reason for orthodox Jews to become so stubborn?

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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