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

2. When were the first sealed caskets made?

3. What did Lynch not want at his funeral?

4. What was the cause of death in the case of the young man Lynch tended to in "All Hallows' Eve"?

5. What was Kevorkian's training in?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. How did the funeral processions through town change when the Oak Grove bridge collapsed?

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

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. Describe Lynch's grandmothers.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Lynch described the toilet as an invention that was essential in robbing us of our ability to deal directly with the less savory aspects of life, including the eventuality of death for us all. Do you agree with this? Does the fact that we no longer have to deal in an intimate manner with our life cycle make it more difficult to deal with that cycle? Has death become something we are embarrassed by? If so, how does that affect our attitude toward the dead?

Essay Topic 2

Lynch wanted to know the day he would die so he could recognize the midpoint when he arrived at it. Do you think it is possible to intuitively know the midpoint of your life? Why did Lynch pick that Halloween as his likely midpoint? What was is perspective on his life at that point? What would be the advantages to knowing the midpoint of your life? Would it affect how you viewed different periods of your life? is there actually an equilibrium that people automatically reach at midlife?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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