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 Paul do under his assumed name?

2. Why does Paul love Molly?

3. What is Paul's flaw?

4. What does Paul offer Kim?

5. What does a phone call confirm?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why are the Soviets concerned about Lee Harvey Oswald being JFK's assassin, and what action do the Soviets take?

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

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

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 3

In Chapter 6, Paul suggests that Ho plans to hook the stupid, young GIs on heroin as vengeance. America foolishly underestimates Vietnam's power. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think the Americans underestimate Vietnam's power as it is portrayed in the book? (Do not consider whether the book is accurate or not). Why or why not? Use examples to support your stance.

2. Why do you think Paul thinks it is foolish for the Americans to underestimate Vietnam's power? What are the consequences in the book of the United States doing so?

3. What is the concept of vengeance? Are revenge and vengeance the same thing? Do you think it is a viable and useful tactic to hook young GIs on heroin as a means of vengeance? If the United States is responsible for the deaths of the Ngo brothers, whether directly or indirectly, does the United States deserve the vengeance that Vietnam wishes to dish out?

(see the answer keys)

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