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 ironic about Henry's getting money from Peckover?

2. What is Henry's paranoia at Sylvester's house?

3. Having gone all day without anything to eat, what enters Henry's mind?

4. At the Villa Borghese, what is the Englishman doing upstairs?

5. Why is Boris intimidated by his wife?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What had Henry hoped for when he met Serge?

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

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

7. Why does Henry leave the apartment when Boris sits down to eat?

8. How did Nanantatee fool Henry and other people when he was in New York?

9. What does Elsa say bout the Englishman upstairs playing Bach?

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

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

Henry discovers Papini and is impressed with his writing. Do some research on Papini and explain what it is about him that Miller so admired. Be sure to mention the slight difference in what Papini said about the artist needing to be alone and what Henry says about the same subject.

Essay Topic 3

In American lore, the idea of staying somewhere that George Washington once slept has a kind of romantic appeal. In the TROPIC OF CANCER, Van Norden's dumpy hotel is made appealing by the hint that Maupassant once lived there. Henry goes to see the room where Strindberg once stayed. Write an essay about a place you would like to visit because some person you admire once stayed or lived there.

(see the answer keys)

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