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 scoffs at the idea they will admit to killing an American president and destroying the American army with heroin?

2. What does Foley refuse to do?

3. How is the President of the United States at the time of this chapter described in Paul's conversation with Cremona?

4. Where does Webster have Molly investigated?

5. What does David say about the "outfit" as regards the Ngo men?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are some indications that Paul is feeling nervous or stressed?

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

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

4. What happens to Pigeon initially when he is kidnapped?

5. What does Yu Lung say about horoscopy?

6. Who does Paul select for breaking Frankie Pigeon and how does he motivate one of the two men?

7. How does the evening with Tom and Sybille go for Paul and Molly and what slightly mars the evening?

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

9. With whom does Paul meet and upon what does Paul's report focus?

10. How does Paul go to Rome and why does he go there?

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

John F. Kennedy is the President of the United States at the opening of THE TEARS OF AUTUMN. Discuss one of the following:

1. Research the Kennedy's administration's policy in Vietnam and discuss how this policy affected the Ngo family. How accurate is McCarry's portrayal of the Kennedy administration's involvement in Vietnam? Do the historical records of the administration's policy to Vietnam differ compared to the novel? How?

2. After researching the Kennedy's administration's policy towards Vietnam, discuss whether you think some Vietnamese would be hostile to Kennedy even to the point of assassination. After your research, does McCarry's book seem more realistic or less? Explain.

3. Do you think JFK could be considered a character in the novel? Explain your answer with specific examples from the text. Would you label him as a protagonist or antagonist? How does Kennedy as a character affect the plot of THE TEARS OF AUTUMN?

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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