The Tears of Autumn Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Charles McCarry
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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 do the Ngos need?

2. What have people advised Luong when he asks about Lê Thu?

3. Why will learning a connection to Lê Thu be difficult right now?

4. Who has been murdered when Paul is in Rome?

5. How is the President of the United States at the time of this chapter described in Paul's conversation with Cremona?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Paul and his Paul's ex-wife view Paul's talent at seeing mental images?

2. Briefly describe the discussion during the dinner with Christopher, the Websters, Foley and Peggy McKinney.

3. What is Paul Christopher thinking about as he boards a plane in Bangkok?

4. What does Foley really believe about Paul's theory about the connection between the JFK assassination and the Ngo family?

5. What is the key phrase that Kim speaks that makes Paul realize who may be responsible for JFK's death and what does Paul do after the realization?

6. How does Paul avoid going to jail in Vietnam?

7. What is ironic about Piero Cremona's statement about the United States Marines when reading this book in the present time?

8. What is probably foreshadowed in Paul's dinner meeting with the Hitchocks?

9. Describe Paul's visit with the Ngo Truong toc.

10. Describe Paul Christopher's section chief, Barney Wolkowicz.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 3, Paul intuits why JFK is murdered. Paul has always had the gift of picturing events in his head and afterward piecing together the facts that support the vision. His superstitious ex-wife considers it mind-reading, but Paul believes it is more akin to the creation of poetry. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think Paul's gift of picturing events in his head and afterward piecing together the facts that support the vision is similar to writing poetry?

2. Do you think Paul's ex-wife is actually superstitious and believes Paul reads minds? Why or why not.

3. What type of reasoning is Paul's method of arriving at a conclusion? Does this method seem to work well for Paul in figuring out the motives and people behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Compare/contrast Paul and David. How are they alike? How are they different? Do they have the same ideals? Goals? Does David support Paul because of their friendship or because he believes in what Paul is doing? Use examples to illustrate your ideas.

2. Compare/contrast Molly with Paul's ex-wife? How are they alike? How are they different? Which seems more likable? Do you think Paul's ex-wife deserves the most blame for the end of the marriage? Explain. Does Molly deserve the most credit for the success of the relationship between her and Paul? Explain.

3. Trace and analyze two of the following characters: Frankie Pigeon, Manual Ruiz, Nsango and Wolkowicz. Decide if each is a protagonist or antagonist. Is each crucial to the story? How would the story change if that character does not exist? Is the character likable? Why or why not? Moral? Memorable? Round or Flat?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 2, when Paul hears news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a Belgian priest provides the foil for him to admit his love of America and of JFK at the same. Discuss the following:

1. What is meant by a foil in literary terms? How do you think the Belgian priest serves as a foil at the end of chapter 2? Do you think this is an effective means of revealing these aspects of Paul's character? Why or why not?

2. Discuss Paul's feelings about the United States of America and about John F. Kennedy. How strongly do these feelings influence Paul's later actions? Do you think Paul would have investigated John Kennedy's assassination if he had been a Republican? Why or why not.

3. Trace and discuss the theme of patriotism throughout THE TEARS OF AUTUMN. Which characters seem most motivated by a love or their countries? Which seem to have no patriotism or loyalty to their country? Is patriotism always a noble motivation?

(see the answer keys)

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