ENGL115: English Composition I
Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 1 and 2
8 January 2004

Directions: Briefly answer the following questions:

  1. What is Asher Lev's extraordinary gift? How do his parents respond to this gift?

  2. What does Asher's father mean when he says "He who kills one soul, kills the whole world?"

  3. What is Asher's father's profession?

  4. What tragedy strikes Asher's family? What are the consequences of this tragedy? How does Asher attempt to respond to this tragedy?

  5. What event marks the end of Asher's mother's illness?

  6. EXTRA CREDIT: Out of modesty, what do the Jewish women do with their hair?

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 3 and 4
15 January 2004

  1. What event in chapter 3 fills Asher Lev with dread? How does he react to th is event?

  2. What recurring dream does Asher Lev have? What moral dilemma results from the dream in chapter 4?

  3. What picture does Asher Lev draw repeatedly in his Hebrew and English notebooks?

  4. Describe what strange phenomenon happens to Asher Lev's eyes in chapter 4.

  5. EXTRA CREDIT: How does Asher Lev inadvertently violate the Sabbath?

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 5 and 6
15 January 2004

  1. In chapter 5, after visiting a psychologist, Asher Lev finds himself absently drawing a picture in chumash (Torah). Who is the picture of? What is this picture like? What insights do you gain into Asher Lev's mental state based on the picture?

  2. The mashpia asks Asher Lev to come to his office after the drawing in the chumash. What is the mashpia's advice for dealing with "the gift"? The mashpia's advice gives us insight into the Jewish sense of responsibility to other. Describe this sense in some detail.

  3. How does Asher Lev find the money to buy oils and brushes? Why does Asher Lev's mother buy him painting supplies?

  4. Which paintings does Asher Lev's mother not wish to see when they visit the museum? Why does she respond to these paintings as she does? How does his father respond to the copies Asher Lev has made of these paintings?

  5. Extra credit: Where might Asher Lev have gotten his idea to visit a museum and to start painting with oil? OR What does the mashpia ask Asher Lev to do? What surprises Asher Lev about this request?

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 7 and 8
20 January 2004

  1. Describe how Asher Lev prepares for his meeting with the Rebbe before his bnai mitzvah.

  2. List two things topics which Asher Lev studies with the mashpia (mentor) before his meeting with the Rebbe. (See question 1 above; no need to duplicate information.)

  3. Why does the Rebbe ask Jacob Kahn to teach Asher Lev? What warning does Jacob Kahn give Asher Lev?

  4. What two tasks does Jacob Kahn give Asher Lev to prepare for his training as an artist?

  5. EXTRA CREDIT--How does Robert Henri define an artist in the book which Asher Lev's mother brings home for him to read? OR How does Jacob Kahn describe an artist?

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 9 and 10
22 January 2004

  1. How does Jacob Kahn describe a false painting?

  2. What advice does Jacob Kahn give Asher Lev?

  3. What event in his training fills Asher Lev with dread? How does Jacob Kahn attempt to reconcile Asher Lev to the task?

  4. What is Asher Lev's father's request?

  5. What begins to interfere with Asher Lev's art in chapter 9?

  6. How does Asher Lev get revenge on the kids who tease him at school?

  7. Jacob Kahn says that there are two ways to paint the world. What are they? What approach does Jacob Kahn say he paints?

  8. Where does Asher Lev spend his summer?

  9. Jacob Kahn warns Asher Lev not to become a whore. What does he mean?

  10. EXTRA CREDIT: What evidence do you have that Jacob Kahn respects Asher Lev's skills?

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 11 and 12
27 January 2004

I will choose from the following questions:

  1. What language is Asher Lev forced to study in high school?

  2. What event does Asher Lev's Uncle say marks his transition to a real artist? Why is this an important event

  3. When Asher Lev admits that he doesn't understand why his father hates him, Jacob Kahn offers some advice. What does he say?

  4. Why does Asher Lev say that he wants to paint?

  5. What political figure does Jacob Kahn campaign for? Why?

  6. What is Asher Lev's reaction to Vienna when he finally goes? Describe it.

  7. How does the Rebbe convince Asher Lev to study Russian in college?

  8. How does Asher Lev's father finally come to terms with Asher Lev's art?

  9. What type of painting would keep Asher Lev's father from coming to one of Asher's shows?

  10. How does Jacob Kahn tell Asher Lev he must survive as a painter?

  11. Summarize Asher Lev's argument with his father about painting nudes.

Quiz over My Name is Asher Lev, chapters 13 and 14
29 January 2004

Here are several questions I could ask about the final two chapters of My Name is Asher Lev:

  1. When Asher Lev eventually travels to Europe, he lives in Florence and Paris. What are some of the subjects of his paintings?

  2. What Michelangelo sculpture moves Asher Lev to tears? When he attempts to draw this statue, how does he change it?

  3. What artist's studio does Asher Lev visit in Paris? (Kandi, you should get this one!)

  4. What architectural feature shows up in Asher Lev's paintings? Do you have any ideas how this symbol might be interpreted?

  5. Asher Lev begins to have more intense dreams of his mythic ancestor. How does the dream change at the end of the book?

  6. When Asher Lev sets up his studio in Paris where he paints for two years, what are some of the subjects of his paintings? What is the major theme that he explores in his work?

  7. How would you describe the paintings which turn Asher Lev's family and friends completely against him? Why are these paintings so controversial? How does Asher Lev rationalize these paintings?

  8. Asher Lev contemplates destroying the paintings. Why does he not do so?

  9. What prayer does Asher Lev offer when he sees his paintings in the gallery?

  10. What does the Rebbe say about these paintings?