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. Chris remembers looking for his dad and

2. The Narrator divides human understanding into

3. Philosophy attempts to answer questions like:

4. The building where Phaedrus taught was

5. Man is a passive observer or a "blank tablet" was first proposed by

Short Essay Questions

1. The Narrator says that the ghost Phaedrus pursued appeared incoherent and meaningless, causing the most normal of everyday acts to seem slightly mad. What everyday assumptions and purposes caused this?

2. How does the Narrator know that Phaedrus existed?

3. What reasons did the Narrator (Phaedrus) have for feeling deep kinship with students who were failing his classes? How was he like them? How was he different from them?

4. How are the people's faces in the cities different from the people's faces in the rural areas? What is the cause of the difference?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. Why did John and Sylvia get angry with the Narrator?

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

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

10. No two motorcycle manufacturers split up the motorcycle parts in the same way. What did the Narrator mean by this? The Narrator talks about the knife they use to split up the parts and then talks about how Phaedrus used the knife creatively, yet analytically. To what do you think the Narrator is alluding to?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Various types of evidence can be used as proof of something. Hard evidence of having gone to a concert would be the ticket stub. Memories of what was sung at the concert would be another type of evidence. Intuition that proves true about the best parking spot for the concert is a third type of evidence. Give one example of each of four ways in which the Narrator knows that Phaedrus existed.

Essay Topic 3

What traits does Chris have that were troublesome traits for Phaedrus?

(see the answer keys)

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