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. Who was the general surgery resident a few years senior to Paul, when Paul began his residency in Part 1, Section 3?

2. Where did Lucy begin her residency in Part 1, Section 3?

3. What was Paul's mother trained to be?

4. in Part 1, Section 3, what was Paul's typical lunch?

5. How many months after being introduced to his cadaver, did Paul say he was bisecting the cadaver's head?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Paul view language at the beginning of Part 1, Section 2?

2. How did Paul's father inspire him?

3. Why does Abraham Verghese say that his foreword should have been an afterward?

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

5. What hours did residents work according to Paul in Part 1, Section 3?

6. By the end of medical school, what did most students focus on for their specialties?

7. How does Verghese describe the meeting he had with Paul?

8. How did Paul describe his father?

9. How were bodies provided for medical school in the past?

10. Who was Shep Nuland?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Paul commented that terminal illness should have been the perfect gift for someone who wanted to understand death. Why should his illness have been a gift for Paul, and why was it so difficult for him to understand and live through his diagnosis of a terminal illness?

Essay Topic 2

Paul's college studies were mainly a search for the meaning of life. How did Paul search for meaning in life and what influences, experiences, and studies lead him to a definition of the meaning of life? How did he define what gave life meaning?

Essay Topic 3

Paul chose to keep his mental faculties and speech intact, over the health of his body. What steps did Paul and his doctors take to help him retain his mental faculties and speech? Why was it so important to Paul to preserve thought and speech and what did that reveal about him?

(see the answer keys)

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