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 does Marlowe want Henry and Carl to do during his absence?

2. Where does Henry brush against Walter Pach?

3. What is Henry's problem as the novel opens?

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

5. How are Boris and Henry planning to write THE LAST BOOK?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the scene at the beginning of the novel and how does it set up the condition Henry is in while in Paris?

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

3. What importance does Henry place on both the past and the future?

4. Explain how Kelpi makes his living.

5. How does Henry describe the book on which he is working?

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

7. What does Henry know about Walter Pach?

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

9. What is Henry's bright idea to get at least one free meal a day?

10. Describe Henry's friends in Paris.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Hustling and conning people are important themes of the novel. Using examples from the novel, discuss how it is human nature to be deceitful to get what you want or simply to survive. Discuss any personal experience you have had similar to the events Henry writes about.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Write a paper about how the French surrealists influenced Miller's work. Use two or three of the surreal dreams or day dreams in the book to illustrate your point. How do some of those passages sound like an early encounter with the Twilight Zone.

(see the answer keys)

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