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 did Chris and the Narrator get soaked on their trip to Canada?
(a) The storm came from the northeast.
(b) The Narrator forgot to pack a tent.
(c) The rain was the result of a warm front.
(d) The Narrator forgot to dig a trench around their tent.

2. The range of human knowledge today creates
(a) induction.
(b) generation gaps.
(c) specialization.
(d) an fragmented society.

3. What did he discover about his spark plugs?
(a) One was broken.
(b) They both looked fine.
(c) One was quite dirty, but the other was not.
(d) They were both quite dirty.

4. Phaedrus called Montana State University
(a) the Church of Irrationality.
(b) the Church of Rationality.
(c) the Church of Reason.
(d) the School of Reasonable Rationality.

5. In trying to explain what is wrong with the outdoor barbecue instructions, the Narrator expounds upon what is wrong with technology, which he says is
(a) the fact that they live in topsy-turvy times.
(b) its inability to encompass reason and feeling and relationships.
(c) its inability to explain things to the common man.
(d) its purposeless expansion laterally.

Short Answer Questions

1. The professor meant that the bombing of the Japanese cities

2. The main point of the lecture was that

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

4. Sylvia begins to ask questions about Chris'

5. When they arrive in Ellendale for breakfast, it is

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. Explain one of his more radical teaching techniques.

4. 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?

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

6. What evidence is there that the Sutherlands and the Narrator disagree about technology?

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

8. 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?

9. How does the Narrator show that Phaedrus is becoming more and more mentally unbalanced (insane)? Trace some of the ideas and words that help us understand that he is losing touch with reality and thinks he is a type of god.

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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