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. The travelers stay in cabins in Gardiner made by the owner who is a craftsman as evidenced by

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

3. In chapter 11, the Narrator and Chris seem

4. It was necessary for Phaedrus to have animal courage to

5. Secondary roads are preferred by the Narrator because

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Phaedrus stimulate students to think for themselves?

2. All through chapter 18, Chris pushes himself to keep climbing and to do it at a fairly good rate even though this was his very first mountain climb or even hike into mountains. What was motivating him and why?

3. Explain the Narrator's train of knowledge. What do the various parts represent? What cannot be represented in a way you can see it in the train analogy?

4. 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."

5. 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?

6. What is symbolized by the riding without helmets and what is symbolized by Chris' standing on the pegs to ride the motorcycle?

7. Goethe's poem captures what may be at stake for the Narrator and Chris on this trip or at this point in their lives. Use the discussion of Chris, the ideas of Phaedrus up to this point, and what is said about the poem to explain how the poem captures what is going on in the Narrator's mind.

8. What aspects of teaching were frustrating for Phaedrus?

9. 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?

10. The book has an Afterword (chapter 33). In it the author tells how Chris was brutally murdered at age 22 and that the author now has a young daughter. How has she helped to put his life "back in perspective again"? What is that perspective? (refer to chapters 24 and 25 also)

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

What does Chris want to "go back" to? What does he miss? Is it possible for him, or for them, to go back? Why or why not? What will it take to go forward?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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