The Tears of Autumn Test | Final Test - Hard

Charles McCarry
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who has refused to read Paul's information?

2. Whose methods do Paul's match?

3. What does Wolkowicz agree to mail for Paul?

4. What is secondary in Paul's investigation?

5. Who is Alvaro Urpi?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 2, when Paul hears news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a Belgian priest provides the foil for him to admit his love of America and of JFK at the same. Discuss the following:

1. What is meant by a foil in literary terms? How do you think the Belgian priest serves as a foil at the end of chapter 2? Do you think this is an effective means of revealing these aspects of Paul's character? Why or why not?

2. Discuss Paul's feelings about the United States of America and about John F. Kennedy. How strongly do these feelings influence Paul's later actions? Do you think Paul would have investigated John Kennedy's assassination if he had been a Republican? Why or why not.

3. Trace and discuss the theme of patriotism throughout THE TEARS OF AUTUMN. Which characters seem most motivated by a love or their countries? Which seem to have no patriotism or loyalty to their country? Is patriotism always a noble motivation?

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 6, Paul visits Wolkowicz, who is shown to be obsessed with his personal safety and takes pleasure in watching his pet python feed. In a novel where people are tortured and killed, it is this pathetic scene where the violence seems gratuitous. Discuss the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of violence throughout THE TEARS OF AUTUMN. What violence is gratuitous? Does any of the violence seem justified? Is violence ever the only solution to a problem in this novel or in "real" life? Is violence ever the best solution in this novel or in "real" life?

2. What is the irony of Wolkowicz's fear for his personal safety and his pleasure in watching his python feed? Do you think Wolkowicz finds pleasure in other acts of violence? Why or why not?

3. In his evening of talking with Nicole, the idea that all humans seek to murder without feeling guilt is suggested. Do you think this is true? Is it possible to be a psychologically healthy person and murder without feeling guilty? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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