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. What did he discover about his spark plugs?
(a) They were both quite dirty.
(b) They both looked fine.
(c) One was quite dirty, but the other was not.
(d) One was broken.

2. Phaedrus discovered that the science he'd once thought of as the whole world of knowledge is
(a) theoretic science.
(b) a natural continuation of the question that started him in science.
(c) not cared about at all by Koreans.
(d) only a branch of philosophy.

3. When they arrive in Ellendale for breakfast, it is
(a) 8:30 AM
(b) 7:15 AM
(c) 6:30 AM
(d) 7:30 AM

4. The back road route of traveling is better than the highway for all the following reasons EXCEPT
(a) Back roads impart a sense of
(b) Back roads establish an indefinite time frame.
(c) It is easier to notice sensations on back roads.
(d) Back roads have a welcome day-to-day sameness.

5. The main point of the lecture was that
(a) his classroom was the only place at the university where students could find truth.
(b) the church is mandated to teach the truth and ignore threats against it.
(c) the location of the university has no application to the teaching of truth.
(d) the university, as the keeper of truth, must point students toward rational truth.

Short Answer Questions

1. John complains about how difficult it is to photograph the

2. Phaedrus served in the

3. The Narrator does not want to go faster than

4. Who suffered the most from Phaedrus' isolation?

5. The woman who finds him in his classroom

Short Essay Questions

1. The Narrator chose a trip with various types of terrain as the backdrop for this book on philosophy. Every description is in the book for a reason. What does the 11,000 foot mountain summit represent? What do the switchcbacks correspond to the thinking being done at that time? Do the paved roads represent something? If so, what? What does the shining wall across the misty harbor seem to denote?

2. How did the mechanics who had worked on the Narrator's motorcycle prove that caring about what you are doing is essential to doing it right?

3. Goethe's poem captures what may be at stake for the Narrator and Chris on this trip or at this point in their lives. Use the discussion of Chris, the ideas of Phaedrus up to this point, and what is said about the poem to explain how the poem captures what is going on in the Narrator's mind.

4. What is symbolized by the riding without helmets and what is symbolized by Chris' standing on the pegs to ride the motorcycle?

5. Why do you suppose the Narrator calls Phaedrus' office a "find?" Do you think he did not know it was Phaedrus' office when he opened the door?

6. What are some of the things John likes about Miles City, Montana? What do these indicate about the city? About John?

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

8. How do the DeWeeses respond to seeing the Narrator again? What are their actions and reactions? What are their emotions and thoughts?

9. In what ways was Phaedrus changed by his studies in India? How did his background in science help or hinder him in learning to think like the Orientals?

10. What are the various symbols of chapter 23 and what do you think they mean?

(see the answer keys)

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