The Tears of Autumn Short Essay - Answer Key

Charles McCarry
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1. What is Paul Christopher thinking about as he boards a plane in Bangkok?

As Paul Christopher boards a plane in Bangkok, Thailand, he is thinking about how his ex-wife, Cathy, and girlfriend, Molly, obsess about poetry he can no longer write, and how his South Vietnamese agent, Luong, faces death.

2. Why does Luong face death?

Paul has just paid off Luong as ordered by section chief Wolkowicz for photographs of North Vietnamese intelligence chief Do Minh Kha and a mystery woman. The powerful Ngo family wants Luong dead as he has been working for the United States government as a spy and informer.

3. Give a brief description of Paul Christopher.

Paul is a veteran intelligence officer whose cover is as a globe-trotting journalist. Before he becomes a spy, 15 years earlier, Paul is a poet, but spy craft kills his gift. Paul is an idealist, refusing to carry a gun and avoiding whenever possible killing people. Paul is divorced from Cathy and has a lover, Molly, in Rome, Italy. As the novel opens, Paul has been in nine countries in 20 days, changing languages and names constantly.

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