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 Foley insist JFK will do?

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

3. Who does Paul pretend to be when visiting Woldowicz?

4. What has disappeared for Christopher?

5. Where does Paul Christopher board a plane?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Paul Christopher feel about Nsango?

2. What do David and Paul talk about when they meet at the Statler Hotel?

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

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

5. How does Paul avoid going to jail in Vietnam?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 6, when Paul mentions that the two presidents (Kennedy and Ngo Diem) die within 21 days of one another, the Truong toc doubts the sorrows are similar. Americans live in another world. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think the Truong toc means when he says Americans live in a different world? How are the two countries different politically as revealed in the text? Explain fully with examples from the text and your own experience.

2. Do you think Americans are more or less likely to grieve for a fallen leader than those in a small Indonesian country such as Vietnam? Explain fully with examples from the text and your own experience.

3. Does the Turong toc seem condescending to Paul? Why or why not? Discuss fully with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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).

(see the answer keys)

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