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 is Paul's contact in the administration?

2. Where does Paul drive his rented Peugeot?

3. Why do Paul and David meet at the Statler Hotel?

4. Why do the Ngos see Oswald as useful?

5. What is Molly's nationality?

Short Essay Questions

1. Give a brief description of Paul Christopher.

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

3. What demonstrates that Paul is still at risk despite the Truong toc saying Paul is harmless and to let him live?

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

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

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

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

8. Briefly describe the discussion during the dinner with Christopher, the Websters, Foley and Peggy McKinney.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Intelligence work, at least as far as this novel is concerned, can be dangerous business. Discuss one of the following:

1. What are some of the dangers of intelligence work specified or implied in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN? Illustrate with specific examples from the text.

2. Do you think intelligence work in the "real" world is more or less dangerous than that which is stated or implied in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN? Explain fully. (This may require some research).

3. Why do you think those characters in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN who choose intelligence work do so? Discuss and compare the motives for intelligence work by Paul, Tom Webster, David Patchen, Nsango, Luong, Trevor Hitchcock, and Klimenko. Each of these may have different reasons. Discuss fully with examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 7, when Paul declares he will resume his work, Ho mocks his bravado, but the Truong toc shows Paul Molly's picture, taken in Rome. Discuss the following:

1. Why it is more effective to threaten Paul with Molly's safety than his own? Do you think this is often the case for humans--i.e., that threats to their loved ones to illicit compliance is more effective than threats to one's own self?

2. Sybille Webster is angry that Paul is determined to stay with Molly because she thinks it endangers both of them. Do you think she is right to be angry? Do you think it is up to Molly whether she wants to risk death if she stays with Paul? Would it be right for Paul to make that decision for Molly? Discuss fully with details from the book.

3. Sybille Webster is also angry that Paul decides to investigate JFK's murder because it puts Paul's life at risk. Why do you think Paul thinks his life is worth knowing the truth? Do you think the truth is worth the lives that are lost in finding it? Why or why not.

(see the answer keys)

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