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 predicted results of scientific inquiry and the actual results of scientific inquiry are

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

3. John complains about how difficult it is to photograph the

4. John puts on his long underwear and plays

5. The woman who finds him in his classroom

Short Essay Questions

1. A society which kills multitudes in wars, pollutes the land and oceans, and destroys the dignity of individuals is said to be a higher society than one that hunts and gathers. How can that be rationally explained?

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

3. Why did the thought of teaching Quality seem so confusing, yet so appealing, to him?

4. 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?

5. 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)

6. 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?

7. 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.

8. 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."

9. What was the Narrator attempting to accomplish when he ferried the backpacks and when he re-packed the backpacks? Do you think he accomplished what he attempted?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The Narrator is in a sarcophagus in one part of the book (chapter 23). Earlier he had been in a large, white room. Both had a glass door with his family on the other side. In both cases, Chris wants him to open the door. Why could neither Chris nor his father open the door? What did the door symbolize? What was truly separating them? In one case, the Narrator tells Chris he will meet him at the top of the mountain, but in chapter 23, he says he will see him at the bottom of the ocean. What is the difference? Is there any progress between the two dreams?

Essay Topic 2

The Narrator says it is good to be in a state of "stuckness." What is "stuckness" and why is a good? What does it allow one's mind to do? Give an example of the Narrator being stuck and then using it to do or say something better than he would have if he had kept going in the original direction.

Essay Topic 3

What gave Phaedrus permission to keep haunting the author? Where should the author have buried Phaedrus? How would this have been possible?

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