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 does Paul give his girlfriend before heading to Asia?

2. What does Paul offer Kim?

3. What does a phone call confirm?

4. Who is Wolkowicz?

5. What does Paul suggest to Truong toc about the young woman he first met at the garden door?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Luong face death?

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

3. Why are the Soviets concerned about Lee Harvey Oswald being JFK's assassin, and what action do the Soviets take?

4. Describe Nguyên Kim.

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

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

7. What does Paul do in response to the letter from David?

8. Briefly discuss Paul and David's friendship and what they have in common.

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

10. What does Paul tell Ho he wants to know and why he wants to know it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 8, the readers are introduced to Yu Lung. Discuss the following:

1. Thoroughly describe and analyze the character Yu Lung. Is he a protagonist or antagonist? He is presented as well-rounded or flat? What is his purpose in relation to the plot? Is he likeable? How would the plot be impacted if he did not exist?

2. Discuss the topic of horoscopy as presented by Yu Lung. Do his statements seem sincere? Do you think horoscopy is a valid means of making decisions? Why or why not?

3. Ngo Diem and Ngo Nhu make decisions about the future based upon their horoscopy readings. Did they make their deaths a self-fulfilling prophecy? Knowing they were predicted to die in their readings, why do you think they do not try to prevent their deaths? Do they desire martyrdom? How would that help their cause?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In Chapter 6, Paul meets with Luong and they discuss lucky numbers. Discuss the following:

1. What is numerology? How does the concept of numerology play out in the novel? Do you think Luong really believes that because 11/1 is his lucky number that his life is spared when Nhu and Diem are murdered on that day?

2. Paul insists he is not toying with superstitions but wants to learn when talking about numerology with Luong. Why do you think Paul wants to learn about how the Vietnamese view numbers? Does Paul use this information later? When? How?

3. Do you think the concept of numerology has any validity? Why or why not? Would you arrange your life by studying numbers? Is there a difference between superstition and numerology? Why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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