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 Narrator feels apprehensive about
(a) meeting the DeWeeses.
(b) riding through Yellowstone Park.
(c) spending the night in a cabin.
(d) introducing John and Sylvia to the DeWeeses.

2. Phaedrus did not understand
(a) the laws of science.
(b) the social crises occuring.
(c) the chaos he saw in the world.
(d) the hollowness of working for food and shelter.

3. 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) the vacation can be a good time of togetherness and relaxation.
(c) they can continue until their money is gone.
(d) they can keep changing their minds about their destination.

4. Phaedrus served in the
(a) Vietnam War.
(b) Cuban Crisis.
(c) Korean Conflict.
(d) Falkland Skirmish.

5. The ghost that Phaedrus pursued was
(a) the ghost of technology.
(b) the ghost of modern science.
(c) the ghost of rationality.
(d) the ghost of Western thought.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. A turning point in Phaedrus' life came about the time he saw

3. Phaedrus was despondent about his inability to

4. Sylvia says she thinks the Narrator looks like he saw a

5. The mechanics where the Narrator had taken his motorcycle when it was seizing did not fix it properly since they

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the Narrator know that Phaedrus existed?

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

3. 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?

4. Explain what is meant by "Peace of mind produces right values which produce right thoughts which produce right actions which produce work that is inspiring in its completeness with nature and the human mind."

5. Explain the Narrator's train of knowledge. What do the various parts represent? What cannot be represented in a way you can see it in the train analogy?

6. 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?

7. Explain one of his more radical teaching techniques.

8. 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?

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. Which question would you prefer to ask your friends: "What's new?" or "What is best?" Which question would you rather have people ask you?

(see the answer keys)

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