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. 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 have a welcome day-to-day sameness.
(c) It is easier to notice sensations on back roads.
(d) Back roads establish an indefinite time frame.

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

3. At the summit of the mountain, the Narrator gets out
(a) his tools to adjust his chain.
(b) his long underwear and jacket.
(c) his camera.
(d) his tools and adjusts the carburetors.

4. Sylvia says she thinks the Narrator looks like he saw a
(a) cat.
(b) ghost.
(c) wolf.
(d) alien.

5. As the Narrator rides past the marshes he sees
(a) a red-winged blackbird.
(b) a pin-tail duck.
(c) a ring-tailed pheasant.
(d) a robin.

Short Answer Questions

1. When they arrive in Ellendale for breakfast, it is

2. A priori knowledge is an idea that was proposed by

3. What does Chris want to do as Chapter 4 ends (their second night)?

4. The parts of a motorcycle form a

5. Who suffered the most from Phaedrus' isolation?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the thought of teaching Quality seem so confusing, yet so appealing, to him?

2. What evidence is there that the Sutherlands and the Narrator disagree about technology?

3. What were the possible reasons John did not want the Narrator to use a beer can to shim his motorcycle handlebars?

4. The Narrator talks about the set of boxes which define the components of a motorcycle. If you start at the top with "motorcycle" and work to the next level, you have "components" and "functions;" at the next level "components" are divided into "power assembly" and "running assembly." Where else do we find such hierarchies? Give examples of this pyramidal structure of hierarchical organization charts in business, science, and government. Can you think of others?

5. The breakthrough of blue sky allows the Narrator and Chris to see the top of the ridge they are climbing. At the same time, the Narrator seems to reach a breakthrough in his Chautauqua. What did Phaedrus realize about Quality that was such a breakthrough?

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

7. All through chapter 18, Chris pushes himself to keep climbing and to do it at a fairly good rate even though this was his very first mountain climb or even hike into mountains. What was motivating him and why?

8. Why is the Narrator apprehensive about seeing DeWeese?

9. The Narrator says: "If you want to build a factory, or fix a motorcycle, or set a nation right without getting stuck, then classical, structured, dualistic subject-object knowledge, although necessary, isn't enough." What does he mean?

10. Chris' Indian friend's grandmother said that ghosts appear when someone has not been buried right. How does that relate to the discussions of the Narrator about Phaedrus? At what times and in what places does Phaedrus appear?

(see the answer keys)

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