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 Wolkowicz want in exchange for keeping Paul out of Vietnamese jails?

2. When do David and Paul meet?

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

4. What does Paul see that he pieces together?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the letter from David say?

2. How do Yu's horoscopes figure into the planning of the assassination of JFK?

3. How does Paul finally break Pigeon and why does his method work? What do they do with Pigeon?

4. 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?

5. Who does Paul go to meet in Léopoldville and describe the person.

6. How has Molly helped Paul to heal?

7. Why does Luong face death?

8. Briefly sum up Molly's week with the Websters.

9. Who does Luong send Paul to talk to and why does he recommend Paul talking to this person?

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

Essay 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

In Chapter 7, Paul goes to Luong's wake, where Roman Catholic and Buddhist practices are intertwined. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze throughout the novel how Roman Catholic and Buddhist practices are intertwined, along with other belief systems such as numerology. Why do you think this happens? Does it invalidate or strengthen each religion? Do you think those who incorporate both religions into their personal belief system believe either path is "right"? Why or why not?

2. Trace and analyze throughout the novel how Western cultural influences are merged with those of the Vietnamese. Does this strengthen or weaken the Vietnamese culture? Their political system? Their traditions?

3. When a stronger nation conquers a weaker nation, some assimilation takes place between both cultures. Discuss this concept, particularly the pros and cons of the assimilation. Has a culture that is conquered ever failed to adopt any of the conquering nation's culture? (This question may require research to answer).

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 6, after Paul has discovered Luong's body and flees the scene, he is seated in the Continental Palace terrace when the Truong toc's girl approaches Paul's table and sits stiffly. He is surprised that a male relative has not been sent. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the females from the Western world to that of those from Vietnam as demonstrated in the text. How are they alike? How do they differ? How does their status in each culture differ? Are there similarities in their cultural status? What are they? Explain using examples from the text.

2. Have the cultural expectations in the present time (the 21st century) changed for women in either culture? How? (This may require some research.) Explain using examples from the text and your research.

3. Which culture seems to have changed more radically in their attitude towards women and the status of women? (This may require some research.) Explain using examples from the text and your research.

(see the answer keys)

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