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 is waiting for Paul in Milan?

3. Of what does the Truong toc warn Paul?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How has Molly helped Paul to heal?

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

6. Describe Paul's initial visit with Ruiz.

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

8. Why is Paul glad he is alone?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are a number of themes developed throughout the novel. Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of politics as presented in the novel. Include a discussion of the following questions: Which characters seem most involved in acting out of a concern for politics? Which ones seem to dismiss politics as a reason for actions? How does the political climate inform the main characters' actions? What do you think is the implied belief about politics in the novel? Use specific examples to develop your essay.

2. Trace and analyze the theme of power as presented in the novel. Include a discussion of the following questions: How would you define power as a concept developed in this novel? Do the powerful hold all the "chips"? How do those with less power manage to ignore or circumvent the restrictions/requirements placed upon them by those with greater power? Is power ever used for ethical goals in the novel? For unethical goals? Which characters wield the most power in The Tears of Autumn? Which characters have the least power? How does the amount of power each character wields affect their lives and their impact on the plot?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 2, narration states that Chinese revolutionaries have come and gone in the Congo and the Cubans are now establishing themselves. Neither country has been willing to arm the Congolese rebels fighting the Belgians. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss the reasons you think China and Cuba are unwilling to arm the native Congolese (especially the idea of racism). Use examples from the book demonstrating the Cubans and Chinese attitudes towards the people of the Congo.

2. Discuss the theme of imperialism as it appears throughout the book. Who are imperialists? What are the motives of countries who behave in an imperialistic manner? Is there ever a justification for imperialism? Does any justification appear in this book for the American involvement in Vietnam?

3. How do some persons from Imperialistic nations act/think in a different vein (e.g., Paul, Dieter, Tom, and Sybille). What factors do you think influences some characters to have a more egalitarian view of other races/nations? In "real" life, what do you think influences this?

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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