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 plans of Chris and the Narrator are deliberately indefinite so that

2. Why does the Narrator almost leave the building with Chris?

3. Sylvia says she thinks the Narrator looks like he saw a

4. The real university according to Phaedrus

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. 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?

4. 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?

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

6. What hoped-for phenomena resulted from the abolition of grades in his classes?

7. 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?

8. How do the DeWeeses respond to seeing the Narrator again? What are their actions and reactions? What are their emotions and thoughts?

9. The Narrator chose a trip with various types of terrain as the backdrop for this book on philosophy. Every description is in the book for a reason. What does the 11,000 foot mountain summit represent? What do the switchcbacks correspond to the thinking being done at that time? Do the paved roads represent something? If so, what? What does the shining wall across the misty harbor seem to denote?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Sarah had asked Phaedrus if he was teaching quality, she certainly had no way of knowing what that question would do to him mentally. What do you suppose Sarah had meant when she asked the question?

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 Narrator mean when he says "Quality is the point of common understanding between the classic and romantic worlds. . . A real understanding of Quality captures the System, tames it, and puts it to work for one's own personal use, while leaving one completely free to fulfill his inner destiny."

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