Tropic of Cancer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. What is the main thing worrying Henry about his writing?

2. Where is Marlowe about to go?

3. What is Nanantatee's stated profession?

4. What does Carl say makes him want to go to Arizona?

5. Why can Henry not go to the cinema or into the opium joint?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Henry go so often to the American Express office?

2. Why does Kruger evict Henry from his studio?

3. How does Henry describe Moldorf?

4. What is it about Boris that Henry can never quite understand?

5. How does Henry define health that he equates with optimism?

6. What do Henry's thoughts about the naked trollops represent?

7. Why does Henry stop writing?

8. What does Henry say about his escape from Serge?

9. Why does Henry like eating with the Cronstadts the best?

10. When the blonde woman stays away too long and leaves Henry alone in her room, what does he do?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write a paper on the power of words and how Miller's use of street language makes his novel so powerful. When reading THE TROPIC OF CANCER, does the vocabulary sometimes make you uncomfortable? Do you think that is exactly the reaction Miller hoped for? Discuss the difference in reading such a novel for its literary merits rather than for satisfying prurient curiosity.

Essay Topic 2

Re-read Chapters 14 and 15 about Henry's stay in Dijon as a visiting professor. Then write an essay about fear. Mention in your essay such things as being in a strange place, being separated from friends and relatives, and feeling helpless to get out of a bad situation.

Essay Topic 3

Miller addresses the idea of the artist suffering for his or her art. Do some research and and compare Henry's suffering with some other writers and artists who went through difficult times in order to produce masterpieces. You might want to include such people as Edgar Allen Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Michelangelo, or Edith Piaf in your essay.

(see the answer keys)

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