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. DeWeese had not like the "Church of Minorities" because

2. What does Chris want to do as Chapter 4 ends (their second night)?

3. The Narrator says that some cultures believe in ghosts in the same way that other cultures

4. The course sections Phaedrus most often taught included

5. The Narrator does not feel the faster speeds are good because

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did the mechanics who had worked on the Narrator's motorcycle prove that caring about what you are doing is essential to doing it right?

3. 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?"

4. What aspects of teaching were frustrating for Phaedrus?

5. 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?

6. 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?

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

8. The Narrator seems to be descending into an abyss as he relates the details of Phaedrus' descent into a full mental breakdown. Why do you think he quit attending the class with the Chairman and then quit teaching his own classes?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the book, the Narrator does not seem to understand or connect with Chris on any level. He finds Chris' questions irritating and his behavior frustrating and often refuses to try to communicate. Trace the Narrator's relationship with Chris through the book. Give examples of his attitude at various points. At what point in the book do we see that he is becoming more open to Chris? What does he think or say to make us feel that he wants to reach out to Chris?

Essay Topic 2

Do you think Phaedrus was a good father? Do you think the Narrator at the beginning of the book was a good father? Do you think the Narrator at the end of the book was a good father? Back your answers with examples to prove your points.

Essay Topic 3

What does the bottom of the ocean symbolize? Do you think the Narrator and Chris meet there? What do they find out about themselves and each other as they attempt to meet? What is the result?

(see the answer keys)

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