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

Thomas Lynch
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 114 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. When is the Milford Memories festival held?

2. How many assisted suicides are cremated?

3. In Lynch's analogy of life as a trip across America, at what point do you meet a girl?

4. To what animal did Lynch allude in making his analogy about living at the midpoint?

5. What was Kevorkian's training in?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Describe Lynch's grandmothers.

4. How did Lynch react to the body of the young man who shot himself in Chapter 9?

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

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

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

8. What kind of music did Lynch want at his funeral?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of the rebuilding of the Oak Grove bridge. Why was Mary Jackson so determined to have her funeral procession take the traditional route across the bridge to the cemetery? What sentiments did Lynch express in his poem for the dedication? How is a town affected by its proximity to the dead and its willingness to acknowledge, rather than hide, the dead? How were the older funeral processions (past houses rather than businesses) superior to the ones after the bridge collapsed? Why is it important that the dead be remembered?

Essay Topic 2

Houses used to be the location of many of life's most significant occurrences (birth, courtship, marriage, death and funeral preparation). Today, many American homes have rooms that are rarely used (living rooms) and rooms that appear to be nothing more than trophies (huge kitchens in homes where eating out is the norm). How has this change affected society? How has it affected the ability of families to remain close to one another? Are there any benefits to this arrangement? How has isolating key aspects of life from one another affected us?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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