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. Phaedrus gave up chasing the ghost of rationality and
(a) buried himself in his research and writing.
(b) busied himself living a conventional life.
(c) began chasing the ghost of materialism.
(d) went home to live with his parents and decide what to do.

2. The course sections Phaedrus most often taught included
(a) English Literature
(b) Grammar and Spelling
(c) American Literature
(d) Freshman English

3. John wants to camp
(a) on the bank of the Missouri River.
(b) at a reservoir near Lemmon.
(c) at a campground to the south of Lemmon.
(d) at a park in the middle of Lemmon.

4. The mechanics where the Narrator had taken his motorcycle when it was seizing did not fix it properly since they
(a) did not read the manual for that bike.
(b) were dancing and singing along with the radio.
(c) did not care enough to learn to do it right.
(d) did not have the proper tools.

5. The Narrator ended the trip to Canada on the motorcycle because
(a) The motorcycle seized up.
(b) It was raining too hard to ride a motorcycle.
(c) The motorcycle was out of gas.
(d) Chris got sick.

Short Answer Questions

1. Phaedrus' stage fright concerning classroom teaching appeared to students as

2. The Narrator does not want to go faster than

3. The point at which Phaedrus gave up on Oriental wisdom was when a professor called the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

4. Above the timberline, the travelers see

5. Academic freedom was threatened by all EXCEPT

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did John and Sylvia get angry with the Narrator?

3. Chapter 30 is a chapter full of defeat: Phaedrus is unburied; the Narrator is on the brink of insanity again; the Narrator has lost touch with Chris; Chris is despondent and frustrated and angry, and Chris is in danger of following in Phaedrus' footsteps into insanity. What glimmer of hope occurs to the Narrator as he tries to deal with Chris' emotions?

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

5. 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?

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

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. How had Chris' YMCA camp experience seemingly made him ill-prepared for actual mountain hiking?

9. 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?

10. Explain one of his more radical teaching techniques.

(see the answer keys)

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