What Dreams May Come: A Novel Test | Final 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. As the atmosphere worsens, what happens to Chris' thoughts and behavior?

2. Why is Chris angry?

3. How does Chris feel while trying to connect with Ann?

4. How does Ann actually die?

5. What does Chris recognize?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens as Chris and Albert continue walking deeper into the Lower Realms?

2. What is the result of Chris having a grateful attitude?

3. What could Ann have done differently on Earth following the death of Chris which would have not resulted in her being where she is?

4. What happens to Chris when he is tricked by a gang of men in the Lower Realm?

5. What do you think it means when Chris says he is realizing there is so much more than what the limited human mind can conceive?

6. What crosses in front of Chris on the driveway of Ann's home in Hell and what might be the symbolism of the scene?

7. Briefly describe Ann's home in Hell.

8. Who does Chris see in Summerland and what is the outcome? Do you think it seems likely?

9. Where is Chris at the opening to Chapter 36 and what has he accomplished?

10. Once Chris decides he will reincarnate soon, what does he have to learn first?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Despite Chris' intense love for his wife, Ann, he is unable to make a connection with her while she is still in the physical plane and barely manages to get her to acknowledge his existence in the spirit world. Discuss the following:

1. There's a cliché that suggests that "love conquers all." What does love fail to conquer in the story and what does love conquer in the story?

2. Ann's refusal to feel Chris's connection seems to be motivated by her head, rather than heart. Do you think this is true? Why? Give examples.

3. In what other ways do you see the existence of love in the story?

Essay Topic 2

In Albert's home, Chris notices the screenplays he wrote while in the physical on Earth. Chris regrets that his screenplays were not of a less violent or horrific nature. Discuss the following:

1. If Chris had wanted to write different screen plays while on Earth, then he probably would have. What do you think kept him from doing so?

2. If life is meant to be experienced fully, what is wrong with Chris' screenplays exploring themes of life as it is on Earth in reality?

3. If one strives to create heaven on earth, then why have two separate planes of existence?

Essay Topic 3

In the Introduction, a clairvoyant has gone to the home of the protagonist's brother, Robert, to deliver a manuscript she claims Robert's deceased brother, Chris, dictated to her from the spirit realm. Discuss the following:

Why do you think Matheson chooses to frame his novel with the story about the clairvoyant and the manuscript?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of framing the story this way?

Do you think the frame device is the most effective way to tell Chris's story? Why or why not?

What is another way Matheson could have structured the story? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of that way?

(see the answer keys)

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