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. Why does the Narrator almost leave the building with Chris?
(a) He sees someone he doesn't want to talk with.
(b) He sees how frightened Chris is.
(c) He hears a car go by.
(d) He is afraid he will see Phaedrus.

2. Sylvia is frightened by
(a) a truck with a trailer in their lane.
(b) the Narrator's bike rolling in the ditch.
(c) the gravel on the side of the road.
(d) a cardboard carton on the road.

3. The first part of the formal scientific method is to
(a) state the problem.
(b) design and carry out experiments.
(c) observe the results of experiments.
(d) state a possible hypothesis.

4. The view John and Sylvia have of technology is
(a) that it is a necessary evil, but they can overcome it.
(b) that it is a death force that may control them.
(c) that it should be pursued to enrich human life.
(d) that it is a nuisance to be endured.

5. John complains about how difficult it is to photograph the
(a) Narrator and Chris.
(b) town of Ellendale.
(c) motorcycles.
(d) prairie.

Short Answer Questions

1. Above the timberline, the travelers see

2. John wants to camp

3. It was necessary for Phaedrus to have animal courage to

4. The course sections Phaedrus most often taught included

5. The person who started him thinking about Quality was

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. How does the Narrator distinguish between European and Native American ghosts?

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

8. What does the last sentence of the chapter mean: "I am a pioneer now, looking onto a promised land."

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

10. What is a priori knowledge and how are time and space examples of a priori knowledge?

(see the answer keys)

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