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. Who fires a pistol at Paul as he leaves the Truong toc's home?

2. What does the Truong toc deny?

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

4. Who is Dieter Dimpel?

5. Who is Nsango?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Paul Christopher feel about Nsango?

2. What does the letter from David say?

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

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

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

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

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

8. Give a brief description of Paul Christopher.

9. Describe Molly, Paul Christopher's current girlfriend.

10. Whose corpse does Paul go to see and what is he told there?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

There are a number of themes developed throughout the novel. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of politics as presented in the novel. Include a discussion of the following questions: Which characters seem most involved in acting out of a concern for politics? Which ones seem to dismiss politics as a reason for actions? How does the political climate inform the main characters' actions? What do you think is the implied belief about politics in the novel? Use specific examples to develop your essay.

2. Trace and analyze the theme of power as presented in the novel. Include a discussion of the following questions: How would you define power as a concept developed in this novel? Do the powerful hold all the "chips"? How do those with less power manage to ignore or circumvent the restrictions/requirements placed upon them by those with greater power? Is power ever used for ethical goals in the novel? For unethical goals? Which characters wield the most power in The Tears of Autumn? Which characters have the least power? How does the amount of power each character wields affect their lives and their impact on the plot?

(see the answer keys)

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