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. How does Henry describe Elsa's piano playing?

2. Who asks Sylvester if he can stay with him until he goes to bed?

3. What does Henry imagine is the value of the ring he tries to pawn?

4. What is Henry's description of Marlowe?

5. What does Serge offer Henry in exchange for his services?

Short Essay Questions

1. In relating his experience with the young Hindu, what is Henry expressing about his own beliefs?

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

3. What are Henry's evenings with Carl like?

4. What lie does Henry tell the Cronstadts when they invite him to join their meal?

5. In an attempt to get money, what is Henry unable to do?

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

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

8. Why is Henry so generous with his praise of the prostitute Germaine?

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

10. How does Henry describe the relationship between him, Boris, and Elsa?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a paper discussing Henry Miller's attitude toward women. Do you think he is clearly a sexist? Are there moments when he appears to be of two minds about the value of women? Include his thoughts viewing the graffiti on the lavatory walls and the way he looks at Boris' treatment of Elsa.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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