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

2. Phaedrus' stage fright concerning classroom teaching appeared to students as

3. The Narrator calls unnatural the divorce of

4. The back road route of traveling is better than the highway for all the following reasons EXCEPT

5. At the summit of the mountain, the Narrator gets out

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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."

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

7. What are the important points of skill in each part in the scientific methods process?

8. The Narrator talks about the set of boxes which define the components of a motorcycle. If you start at the top with "motorcycle" and work to the next level, you have "components" and "functions;" at the next level "components" are divided into "power assembly" and "running assembly." Where else do we find such hierarchies? Give examples of this pyramidal structure of hierarchical organization charts in business, science, and government. Can you think of others?

9. Explain one of his more radical teaching techniques.

10. Summarize how Poincaré's ideas fit closely to Phaedrus' ideas--like two sides of a jigsaw puzzle.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Phaedrus and DeWeese were baffled by, yet intrigued by, each other. Explain. Were there actions or words that caused this?

Essay Topic 2

At what point in the book did you realize that Phaedrus and the Narrator are the same person? What clues are given? At what point do the two actually merge into one and the same person in the book? Give reasons for your answer.

Essay Topic 3

How can technology best be pursued and used to enrich human life rather than degrading humans? Give examples. How can technology be art? Can you think of some examples?

(see the answer keys)

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