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 is Molly's nationality?

2. How does Foley label Paul's hypothesis?

3. Who is Paul's contact in the administration?

4. Where does Webster have Molly investigated?

5. Why does Paul love Molly?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Nguyên Kim.

2. What does David Patchen think about Foley?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What sudden revelation does Paul have and how does he have it?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In Chapter 6, Paul suggests that Ho plans to hook the stupid, young GIs on heroin as vengeance. America foolishly underestimates Vietnam's power. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think the Americans underestimate Vietnam's power as it is portrayed in the book? (Do not consider whether the book is accurate or not). Why or why not? Use examples to support your stance.

2. Why do you think Paul thinks it is foolish for the Americans to underestimate Vietnam's power? What are the consequences in the book of the United States doing so?

3. What is the concept of vengeance? Are revenge and vengeance the same thing? Do you think it is a viable and useful tactic to hook young GIs on heroin as a means of vengeance? If the United States is responsible for the deaths of the Ngo brothers, whether directly or indirectly, does the United States deserve the vengeance that Vietnam wishes to dish out?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 4, Foley believes Paul is obsessed and questions David's objectivity. Foley is as wildly defensive of the dead JFK as he had been of the living, vibrant one he continues to imitate (he still wears the PT-109 tie clasp). Discuss the following:

1. Who seems most obsessed about Kennedy, both while Kennedy is alive and after his death? What is ironic about Foley thinking Paul is obsessed? Who seems to deal with JFK's death in a more healthy manner--Paul or Foley? Or is either grieving in a healthy way?

2. What do you think the PT-109 tie clasp epitomizes or is symbolic of? What happens when a person dies suddenly or while fairly young (relatively speaking) who is larger than life while alive? Can you think of some recent examples with which to compare the death of Kennedy? (hint: Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, etc.).

3. Paul chooses to put his life in danger in order to ferret out the truth behind JFK's assassination. Is this a cause worth risking one's own life and the lives of those one is close to?

(see the answer keys)

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