The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade Test | Final 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. How many trials did Kevorkian face and successfully avoid conviction in Oakland County?

2. Approximately how many caskets can someone choose from at the Lynch funeral home?

3. What did Lynch not want at his funeral?

4. If he is cremated, what does Lynch want done with the ashes?

5. If he was cremated, where did Reader want his ashes scattered?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Lynch view the current state of debate over abortion?

4. How do most people view undertakers, according to Lynch?

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

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

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

8. What did Lynch see as the advantage of being at the midpoint of one's life?

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

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

Lynch suggested that a priest interested in a simple funeral might have more of an effect on his parishioners if he lived a life of simplicity rather than wait until he was dead (and beyond caring). Why did Lynch say that a being a dead saint was not worthwhile? Would a simple funeral satisfy the needs of the living and would it convince people of the saintliness of the dead person? Or is it better to live a life of simplicity and then allow the living to do whatever they feel the need to do once you've died? Why did the priest seem shocked by Lynch's advice?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss the significance of Wesley Rice's work on the young girl who had been brutally murdered. How important was it that this work be done? Why did the mother insist on seeing her daughter one last time? How did Rice's "repair" work give the girl's body back to her family? Is the work done on corpses "barbaric," as Jessica Mitford claimed, or a kindness, as Lynch saw it? What kind of person does it take to do this kind of work?

(see the answer keys)

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