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. How do the Websters respond to Paul's resignation?

2. What do David and Paul think can be used to find the truth in any situation?

3. What is mentioned as part of the French culture at the time?

4. Who does Paul contact in Vietnam?

5. Who can predict and use others' mistakes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the Truong toc and which Truong toc does Paul talk with and what transpires?

2. What does Paul learn during his visit to Yu Lung?

3. What does Paul tell Molly about his investigation into JFK's murder?

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

5. Give a brief description of Paul Christopher.

6. What happens to Luong's killers?

7. What does David Patchen think about Foley?

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

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

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

Essay 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

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, 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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