The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Thomas Lynch
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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. To what town was Lynch's father's body brought?

2. What Irish writer did Lynch admire?

3. What time did Lynch leave the office to return home?

4. What was St. Stephen the patron saint of?

5. To what medical procedure did Lynch refer when speaking about people's aversion to funerals?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Janet Adkins ask Jack Kevorkian to assist in her suicide?

2. What statement does a casket, versus a simple coffin, make?

3. How does Sweeney approach the consuming of food delicacies?

4. How did Lynch's mother and father differ in their reactions to the normal "threats" of childhood?

5. How does Lynch view the work done by his colleague Wesley Rice with the young, murdered girl?

6. Describe Lynch's grandmothers.

7. How did Lynch "resolve" his feelings about the existence of God?

8. How does Lynch describe people's different approaches to living life at the end of Chapter 8 and which approach did Sweeney take?

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

10. How did Lynch feel about constantly taking Nugent's phone calls following the divorce?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the artichoke poem described in Chapter 5. How did the poet use sexual imagery in describing the vegetable? Why did he choose to describe an artichoke instead of a woman? Why did so many people respond to the poem in the way the author clearly intended? Is there some unspoken connection between food and sex?

Essay Topic 2

Lynch wanted to know the day he would die so he could recognize the midpoint when he arrived at it. Do you think it is possible to intuitively know the midpoint of your life? Why did Lynch pick that Halloween as his likely midpoint? What was is perspective on his life at that point? What would be the advantages to knowing the midpoint of your life? Would it affect how you viewed different periods of your life? is there actually an equilibrium that people automatically reach at midlife?

Essay Topic 3

Although he acknowledges that once he is dead, his opinion will not matter, Lynch provides a blueprint for his own funeral. Discuss the significance of the various aspects of the funeral as described in the last chapter. What is the significance of the time of year? the weather? the preferred services? the desire to have people remain at the graveside until the casket is lowered? What is the ultimate desire of Lynch for his funeral?

(see the answer keys)

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