Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Robert M. Pirsig
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Herried is designated a Western town by the Narrator because

2. A Chautauqua is

3. Phaedrus called Montana State University

4. The method of finding one's way through the hierarchies is by using

5. Which of the following is the best description of Phaedrus?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. What is the Narrator's personality theory of motorcycles? (How does a motorcycle acquire a unique personality? What makes up a motorcycle's personality?)

3. Sentence fragments are exchanged between the Narrator and the young woman who comes into the classroom. What do we learn about rumors concerning Phaedrus (the Narrator) that circulated in the English department? What do you think is the young woman's role at the university at this time?

4. How do we know that the Narrator has been on this road, in this town, or at this motel before?

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

6. 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?"

7. What types of things are so dependent on Quality that they would be significantly changed or nonexistent if Quality did not exist?

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

9. How are the tasks that the Narrator and Chris perform related to the discourse of this chapter?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Give and explain three examples of the Narrator's fascination with detail and care.

Essay Topic 2

What was the Greek's equivalent to Phaedrus' Quality? How is it explained or described?

Essay Topic 3

Plato often used names for his characters that suggested the nature of their personalities. When the author chose the name "Phaedrus," he thought it meant wolf. When the Narrator is describing Phaedrus' contemplations, he describes a meeting with a timber wolf (chapter 7). How does the reader come to the conclusion that Phaedrus and wolf have some commonalities? "Phaedrus" actually means brilliant while "lykos" means wolf in Greek. Explain how both wolf and brilliant apply to Phaedrus / the Narrator.

(see the answer keys)

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