When Breath Becomes Air Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paul Kalanithi
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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. In Part 1, Section 3, what type of cancer did Paul's colleague V have?

2. Near what mountains did Paul live when he was a teenager?

3. In Part 1, Section 3, what did Paul say his father said lobster and steak would look like?

4. Where did Paul stay when he was taking pre-med courses?

5. When did Verghese receive a copy of Paul's book?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Mari, a fellow medical student with Paul, feel relief and then shame when a surgery was called off at the end of Part 1, Section 2?

2. What were some of the first symptoms Paul had experienced?

3. What was Paul's educational journey?

4. What did Paul's mother fear the most in Arizona?

5. What did Paul believe setting aside literature would do for him?

6. What happened to Paul's co-resident, Jeff?

7. What did the first X-rays Paul had reveal and what did the doctor think his issues were?

8. Why did Paul study literature and philosophy and also neuroscience?

9. What was the intern's role when Paul began his residency in Part 1, Section 3?

10. What was wrong with Matthew, an eight-year-old, in Part 1, Section 3 and how successful was treatment?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The last section of the book is title "Cease Not till Death." In what ways did Paul not quit living during his illness? Why was it important for him to keep living and hoping until his last breath?

Essay Topic 2

The title of the book was "When Breath Becomes Air." What does that title mean and how did Paul's breath become air?

Essay Topic 3

Lucy expected to only feel empty and heartbroken after Paul's death. What range of emotions did she feel besides heartbreak? In what ways was she still taking part in the life they had created, and how did that help her move beyond heartbreak?

(see the answer keys)

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