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 simple cardboard box cost?

2. What TV show did Mary Jackson appear in?

3. How much did the mahogany casket cost?

4. How long was the old-fashioned mourning period?

5. How many days was Reader waked?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Matthew Sweeney's personality.

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

7. Describe Lynch's grandmothers.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In discussing the divorce of his friend, Henry Nugent, Lynch said divorced men in our society are seen as damaged goods. What did he mean by that? In what ways was the divorce easier on Nugent's ex-wife? How does divorce affect the father's relationship with the children? How did Lynch's divorce differ from many other American divorces?

Essay Topic 3

Lynch's parents were fundamentally different when it came to raising the kids. His father was obsessed about potential dangers and would have placed a short leash on all of them if possible. His mother left her worries to God. How did those two ways of child rearing affect the kids? Given the parents' beliefs and life experiences, would it have been possible for either one to act differently? Could there have been a happy medium between the two extremes or was that impossible? Did the two approaches complement one another or interfere with one another?

(see the answer keys)

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