Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Robert M. Pirsig
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Riding along the marshes reminds the Narrator of
(a) the opening of duck season.
(b) the heat and humidity of the summer.
(c) the loneliness of the two-lane road.
(d) how cold winters can be.

2. A Chautauqua is
(a) A traveling tent-show meant to entertain and enlighten, once common in America.
(b) A Middle Eastern philosophy.
(c) A chat room on the internet for specialized discussions.
(d) A carnival that sets up on the streets of small American towns.

3. John is interested in
(a) what things are.
(b) what things appear to be.
(c) what is the underlying form of things.
(d) what things mean.

4. Which of the following is NOT associated with underlying form?
(a) Science, law and medicine
(b) Masculine, mechanical, and measured
(c) Feelings, emotions, and beauty
(d) Straightforward, unemotional, and ordered

5. The Narrator calls unnatural the divorce of
(a) art from writing.
(b) art from technology.
(c) teaching from sculpting.
(d) technology from science.

Short Answer Questions

1. Herried is designated a Western town by the Narrator because

2. Man is a passive observer or a "blank tablet" was first proposed by

3. The kind of truth one seems to see out of the corner of one's eye or when the procedure goes haywire is called

4. Doctrinal differences among Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism

5. Chris relates that whichever child saw their father first

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain what is meant by "Peace of mind produces right values which produce right thoughts which produce right actions which produce work that is inspiring in its completeness with nature and the human mind."

2. No two motorcycle manufacturers split up the motorcycle parts in the same way. What did the Narrator mean by this? The Narrator talks about the knife they use to split up the parts and then talks about how Phaedrus used the knife creatively, yet analytically. To what do you think the Narrator is alluding to?

3. What does the last sentence of the chapter mean: "I am a pioneer now, looking onto a promised land."

4. What reasons did the Narrator (Phaedrus) have for feeling deep kinship with students who were failing his classes? How was he like them? How was he different from them?

5. In what ways is the phrase "to travel is better than to arrive" appropriate to the Narrator's trip to Bozeman?

6. What is the difference between "What's new?" and "What is best?" What type of answer might you get to each question? Which question would you prefer to ask your friends? Which question would you rather have people ask you?

7. What does the Narrator mean by the term "squareness?"

8. How does the Narrator know that Phaedrus existed?

9. How does the Narrator show that Phaedrus is becoming more and more mentally unbalanced (insane)? Trace some of the ideas and words that help us understand that he is losing touch with reality and thinks he is a type of god.

10. How does the Narrator distinguish between European and Native American ghosts?

(see the answer keys)

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