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. About what did both Christopher's ex-wife, Cathy, and his girlfriend both obsess?

2. Who is Dieter Dimpel?

3. Who had talked of the Soviet's paranoia about Lee Harvey Oswald's past?

4. What does Foley insist JFK will do?

5. What does a phone call confirm?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe the dinner conversation between Kim and Paul.

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

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

6. What is Foley's "public" response to Paul's hypothesis about the connection between the JFK assassination and the Ngo family?

7. Describe Paul's case worker, Tom Webster.

8. What does the letter from David say?

9. What does David Patchen think about Foley?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Write a character analysis of Alphonse Nsango. Include a discussion of the following questions: Is this character a protagonist or antagonist? What is paradoxical about Nsango's personality? How does he blend Western world and third world philosophy? Why do Paul's hopes for Nsango not come to fruition? Are Nsango's actions towards the Cuban revolutionaries justified? Moral? Is this character likable? Well-developed or flat? Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.

2. Write a character analysis of Nguyên Kim. Include a discussion of the following questions: Is this character a protagonist or antagonist? Are Kim's loyalties divided? Where do his loyalties actually lie? How does Kim feel about the Ngo family? What does he believe the Ngo family will do? What are Kim's plans for his future? Are his plans moral? Is this character likable? Well-developed or flat? Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.

3. Write a character analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald as he is discussed in the text, not as an historical person. Include a discussion of the following questions: Is this character a protagonist or antagonist or neither? Can Oswald be considered a character in the book though he does actually appear? Why or why not? What are Oswald's motives for agreeing to murder JFK? Are his motives selfish? Do you think Oswald obtained what he wanted by killing President Kennedy? What does Oswald obtain by his act? Does Oswald get what he deserves from Jack Ruby? Why does Ruby kill Oswald? Is this character likable? Well-developed or flat? Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 2, narration states that Chinese revolutionaries have come and gone in the Congo and the Cubans are now establishing themselves. Neither country has been willing to arm the Congolese rebels fighting the Belgians. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss the reasons you think China and Cuba are unwilling to arm the native Congolese (especially the idea of racism). Use examples from the book demonstrating the Cubans and Chinese attitudes towards the people of the Congo.

2. Discuss the theme of imperialism as it appears throughout the book. Who are imperialists? What are the motives of countries who behave in an imperialistic manner? Is there ever a justification for imperialism? Does any justification appear in this book for the American involvement in Vietnam?

3. How do some persons from Imperialistic nations act/think in a different vein (e.g., Paul, Dieter, Tom, and Sybille). What factors do you think influences some characters to have a more egalitarian view of other races/nations? In "real" life, what do you think influences this?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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