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 much did the mahogany casket cost?

2. Where was Reader when he died?

3. When were the first sealed caskets made?

4. At what age did Lynch's mother die?

5. What kind of food was served at The Red Fort?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What perspective did Lynch reach on the night his mother was buried?

3. Describe Matthew Sweeney's personality.

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

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

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

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

8. How do Lynch and his wife differ in their views of Milford as they walk through town in Chapter 7?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Lynch discussed how society has accepted certain deaths in the names of choice, justice, and God. How does this willingness to accept the end of life in some cases affect society as a whole? How does a society determine where to draw the line? How does this attitude affect attitudes toward life itself? Why do people who accept some death choices utterly reject others? Is Lynch right when he states that primitive humans had a more civilized attitude toward life and death?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the assisted suicide doctor, Jack Kevorkian. Why were so many people willing to allow him to "assist" them in killing themselves? How does Lynch view the notion of providing someone with assistance in suicide? How did the general public react to Kevorkian and why was he not convicted? Is there an absolute value of life or can society reach an agreement about when people may choose to end theirs?

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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