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. How does Ruiz figure into the JFK plot?

2. Who does Paul meet after dark?

3. For what does Yu use feng shui?

4. What does Yu Lung spread out on the table?

5. Who once used the Roman villa that Paul drives to?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Yu Lung.

2. How does the evening with Tom and Sybille go for Paul and Molly and what slightly mars the evening?

3. What are some indications that Paul is feeling nervous or stressed?

4. How does Gherman Klimenko convince Paul that Klimenko knows Paul is not just a journalist.

5. Who does Paul meet on the outskirts of Elisabethville and for what reason?

6. What information does Paul get from Klimenko when they meet again?

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

8. What happens to Pigeon initially when he is kidnapped?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 6, after Paul has discovered Luong's body and flees the scene, he is seated in the Continental Palace terrace when the Truong toc's girl approaches Paul's table and sits stiffly. He is surprised that a male relative has not been sent. Discuss the following:

1. Compare/contrast the females from the Western world to that of those from Vietnam as demonstrated in the text. How are they alike? How do they differ? How does their status in each culture differ? Are there similarities in their cultural status? What are they? Explain using examples from the text.

2. Have the cultural expectations in the present time (the 21st century) changed for women in either culture? How? (This may require some research.) Explain using examples from the text and your research.

3. Which culture seems to have changed more radically in their attitude towards women and the status of women? (This may require some research.) Explain using examples from the text and your research.

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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