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. Before Kevorkian, how many "successful" suicides were men?

2. In what month would Lynch prefer to die?

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

4. With what did the cuckolded husband kill himself in Chapter 10?

5. What kind of car crushed a worker at a scrap metal yard in Lynch's story?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe Matthew Sweeney's personality.

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Lynch quotes Gladstone as stating that he could tell how a people respected the laws of the land by how they treated their dead. Do you agree with this? What does the way in which society treats its dead say about that society? Does it go beyond simply obeying laws? How does a society's way of "caring" for the dead reflect its attitude toward life? How do you think modern American society treats its dead and how does this reflect our overall society?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the feasibility of the "golfatorium" envisioned by Lynch. Would Americans accept such a concept? How would it fit into the general American attitude that cemeteries are a waste of land because they don't serve the living? How would it fit into the American concept of one-stop shopping for services? Would it be possible to maintain a sense of respect and dignity for the dead at a golf course?

Essay Topic 3

In the first chapter, Lynch repeatedly states that "the dead don't care" and that only the living care what happens to the body. Why are the dead valuable to the living? Why do the living feel the need to have ceremonies and other ways to recognize someone who no longer cares? In what ways are funeral services really for the living? Would it really matter what we do with the dead?

(see the answer keys)

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