The Tears of Autumn Test | Final 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 Yu predict on 8 Sep 1963?

2. What is the disposition of three of the four men?

3. Where do Klimenko and Paul agree to next meet?

4. What does Paul tell Glavanis and Eycken to do?

5. Where does Paul send Molly?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Paul finally break Pigeon and why does his method work? What do they do with Pigeon?

2. With whom does Paul meet in Zurich and what do they do?

3. Who does Paul select for breaking Frankie Pigeon and how does he motivate one of the two men?

4. What does Yu Lung say about horoscopy?

5. Briefly sum up Molly's week with the Websters.

6. How has Molly helped Paul to heal?

7. What do Paul and Tom discuss as they are at the bar having hot buttered rum?

8. What happens to all the Cubans but Ruiz and why not Ruiz? What does Nsango ask about Ruiz?

9. With whom does Paul meet and upon what does Paul's report focus?

10. What are Paul's instructions to the two men who are to break Pigeon?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

THE TEARS OF AUTUMN takes place during an era quite dissimilar to the current political situation of the world, particularly that of the United States. An understanding of the political situation at the time of the setting will enhance the reading experience and understanding of the plot. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss the situation between the United States and Vietnam during the early 1960s. How does the political situation at that time inform the plot of The Tears of Autumn? How historically accurate are the facts about Vietnam in McCarry's book? Why do you think he takes some liberties with the history of the time? Could he have been absolutely historically accurate and used the same plot?

2. Compare/contrast the threats from the world situation as perceived during the early 1960s from threats from the world situation as perceived today? What major powers have shifted/changed? What are the types of threats then versus now? Which world situation seems more volatile--then or now? Would a book set in this time (first decade of the 21st century) be substantively different in tone, plot, etc...?

3. Discuss how you think the situation in Vietnam would have been if the Ngo brothers remained in power based upon what you read in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN. How would that have changed the history of relations between Vietnam and the United States?

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 4, Foley believes Paul is obsessed and questions David's objectivity. Foley is as wildly defensive of the dead JFK as he had been of the living, vibrant one he continues to imitate (he still wears the PT-109 tie clasp). Discuss the following:

1. Who seems most obsessed about Kennedy, both while Kennedy is alive and after his death? What is ironic about Foley thinking Paul is obsessed? Who seems to deal with JFK's death in a more healthy manner--Paul or Foley? Or is either grieving in a healthy way?

2. What do you think the PT-109 tie clasp epitomizes or is symbolic of? What happens when a person dies suddenly or while fairly young (relatively speaking) who is larger than life while alive? Can you think of some recent examples with which to compare the death of Kennedy? (hint: Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, etc.).

3. Paul chooses to put his life in danger in order to ferret out the truth behind JFK's assassination. Is this a cause worth risking one's own life and the lives of those one is close to?

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