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. How many motorcycles are involved in this trip?
(a) 3 motorcycles
(b) 2 motorcycles
(c) 1 motorcycle
(d) 4 motorcycles

2. The plans of Chris and the Narrator are deliberately indefinite so that
(a) they do not have to account to anyone for their time.
(b) they can keep changing their minds about their destination.
(c) they can continue until their money is gone.
(d) the vacation can be a good time of togetherness and relaxation.

3. Phaedrus corresponded with the Northwest Regional Accrediting Association
(a) to get letters proving he was a professor at an accredited university.
(b) because he believed that the university had violated accreditation requirements.
(c) because he was unhappy with their method of accrediting the English department.
(d) to see of they would accredit a college he was starting.

4. Annihilation ECS consisted of
(a) 28 electric shocks to the brain.
(b) 28 skin pricks on the scalp.
(c) 800 amps applied for 1.5 seconds.
(d) 88 volts of electricity to the heart.

5. A priori knowledge is an idea that was proposed by
(a) Hume.
(b) Copernicus.
(c) Northrop.
(d) Kant.

Short Answer Questions

1. Riding along the marshes reminds the Narrator of

2. Phaedrus discovered that the science he'd once thought of as the whole world of knowledge is

3. Who introduces the topic of ghost stories?

4. The method of finding one's way through the hierarchies is by using

5. The Narrator approaches maintaining his motorcycle like

Short Essay Questions

1. The Narrator says that the ghost Phaedrus pursued appeared incoherent and meaningless, causing the most normal of everyday acts to seem slightly mad. What everyday assumptions and purposes caused this?

2. The book has an Afterword (chapter 33). In it the author tells how Chris was brutally murdered at age 22 and that the author now has a young daughter. How has she helped to put his life "back in perspective again"? What is that perspective? (refer to chapters 24 and 25 also)

3. What was the Narrator attempting to accomplish when he ferried the backpacks and when he re-packed the backpacks? Do you think he accomplished what he attempted?

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

5. 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?

6. Why was Phaedrus repulsed by Yellowstone Park? What do you think is Yellowstone's real-life parallel?

7. In chapter 13, the Narrator talks about Phaedrus' lecture about the "real university." What is a "real university" or a "real high school?" Start by explaining what a "real university" or a "real high school" is not. What is the primary goal of the "real university" or "real high school?"

8. Which gumption trap is most often a problem for you and how to you overcome it?

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

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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