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 has Paul seen in the wiretap logs?

2. How does Paul get to Elisabethville?

3. Of what does Dimpel take photographs?

4. Who is Gherman Klimenko?

5. Who is Paul visiting?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Ruiz tell Paul about the recruiting of Oswald?

5. What does Yu Lung say about horoscopy?

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

7. Describe Yu Lung.

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Intelligence work, at least as far as this novel is concerned, can be dangerous business. Discuss one of the following:

1. What are some of the dangers of intelligence work specified or implied in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN? Illustrate with specific examples from the text.

2. Do you think intelligence work in the "real" world is more or less dangerous than that which is stated or implied in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN? Explain fully. (This may require some research).

3. Why do you think those characters in THE TEARS OF AUTUMN who choose intelligence work do so? Discuss and compare the motives for intelligence work by Paul, Tom Webster, David Patchen, Nsango, Luong, Trevor Hitchcock, and Klimenko. Each of these may have different reasons. Discuss fully with examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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