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. When the Narrator found that the thread was stripped in the chain adjustment, he
(a) used the axle nut to tighten the chain.
(b) hammered the adjusting bolt to tighten the chain.
(c) put a cotter pin into the chain.
(d) didn't know where to start.

2. Academic freedom was threatened by all EXCEPT
(a) More stringent rules about acceptance to the college were enacted.
(b) Professors were banned from speaking freely on campus.
(c) There was a rule against failing students in classes.
(d) Accusations of stirring up trouble were leveled at professors.

3. The Narrator says that some cultures believe in ghosts in the same way that other cultures
(a) believe in the law of gravity.
(b) believe in evil spirits.
(c) believe in eye contact.
(d) believe the earth is round.

4. Who suffered the most from Phaedrus' isolation?
(a) his parents
(b) his brothers and sister
(c) his wife and family
(d) his son

5. Man is a passive observer or a "blank tablet" was first proposed by
(a) Copernicus.
(b) Hume.
(c) Kant.
(d) Aristotle.

Short Answer Questions

1. The first part of the formal scientific method is to

2. Why did Chris and the Narrator get soaked on their trip to Canada?

3. As the Narrator rides past the marshes he sees

4. The Narrator ended the trip to Canada on the motorcycle because

5. Doctrinal differences among Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 1, the Narrator says that sometimes when truth knocks on the door you tell it to go away because you are looking for truth. He also introduces the idea of the Chautauqua, saying he will be concerned more with the question of "What is best?" than the question of "What's new?" How are those ideas related to one another?

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

3. A society which kills multitudes in wars, pollutes the land and oceans, and destroys the dignity of individuals is said to be a higher society than one that hunts and gathers. How can that be rationally explained?

4. How are the people's faces in the cities different from the people's faces in the rural areas? What is the cause of the difference?

5. 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?"

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. What does the Narrator mean by referring to Phaedrus' reading of philosophers as the high country of the world of thought?

9. Falling rock signals the aging and crumbling of the mountain. These small rockfalls serve as warnings. The Narrator, unlike Phaedrus, is able to heed warnings. How does the Narrator heed the warnings both physically and psychologically at this time?

10. Based on what you have read through chapter 28, by way of predicting an outcome for the book, write a paragraph or two explaining a dream you think the Narrator will have near the end of the book.

(see the answer keys)

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