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. Approximately how many Japanese die of fugu poisoning every year?

2. What drink did Lynch give to Sweeney after telling him the story of the man killed by the falling car?

3. Before Kevorkian, how many attempted suicides were women?

4. What did Reader want done with his body after death?

5. What medical topic did Sweeney broach when eating rainbow trout?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Lynch's grandmothers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 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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