The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade Test | Final Test - Medium

Thomas Lynch
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Approximately how many Japanese die of fugu poisoning every year?
(a) 350.
(b) 700.
(c) 500.
(d) 200.

2. What kind of car crushed a worker at a scrap metal yard in Lynch's story?
(a) 1975 Mustang.
(b) 1967 Jeep.
(c) 1970 Camaro.
(d) 1967 Mustang.

3. When were the first sealed caskets made?
(a) 1920s.
(b) 1940s.
(c) 1950s.
(d) 1930.

4. To what Irish hero did Lynch compare Russ Reader?
(a) Cuchulainn.
(b) Wolfe Tone.
(c) Conchobar.
(d) Finn McCool.

5. What did Lynch want his family to toss on top of his casket?
(a) His favorite hat.
(b) Gray gloves.
(c) His glasses.
(d) A gray scarf.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was Reader's favorite holiday?

2. In what state did someone reach the midpoint of their lives?

3. What poet is quoted at the beginning of "Tract"?

4. What drink did Lynch give to Sweeney after telling him the story of the man killed by the falling car?

5. What was the first name of the girl Lynch met and fell in love with?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the funeral processions through town change when the Oak Grove bridge collapsed?

2. How did Lynch feel about the prospect of his loved ones feeling guilt at his funeral?

3. What characteristic of "successful" suicides did Lynch say he admired?

4. Describe Matthew Sweeney's personality.

5. What did Lynch want from his funeral, when all was said and done?

6. What lesson did Lynch want to teach Sweeney with his story of the man killed by the falling vehicle at the scrap metal yard?

7. How does Lynch view a world in which certain deaths are acceptable (abortion, war, capital punishment)?

8. Why did authors such as Jessica Mitford attack the funeral industry?

9. Why do people feel the need to memorialize the dead?

10. What did Lynch mean when he said that "in even the best of caskets, it never all fits"?

(see the answer keys)

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