84, Charing Cross Road Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Helene Hanff
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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. Helene is afraid the Easter Bunny will find that Frank has died of ____________.

2. What was the name of the professor who first got Helene interested in books?

3. Where would Helene have to shop for books in New York City if she didn't have Marks & Co. sending them to her door?

4. Who helps Helene translate British pounds into American dollars?

5. What month and year does Helene start her correspondence with Marks & Co.?

Short Essay Questions

1. What prompts Frank's wife Nora to write Helene for the first time?

2. What is Helene doing for a living in 1964?

3. What do Frank and the rest of the Marks & Co. staff send to Helene as a token of their appreciation for the care packages?

4. What is written in the first letter Helene receives from Marks & Co. bookstore?

5. What terms does Helene play "girl etymologist" for Maxine, and explain?

6. What does Nora reveal to Helene that Frank chastises her for?

7. What kind of books of poems does Helene request from Marks & Co. in her March 25, 1950 letter?

8. Why does Helene need to stop purchasing books in 1961?

9. What news about his daughter, Sheila, does Frank share with Helene in 1963?

10. What does Nora reveal to Helene after Frank dies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Helene concludes that she goes through life "watching the English language being raped before me face." What does she mean by this and why does she use a literary reference to Edward Arlington Robinson?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss how Helene's relationship with the bookshop employees deepens and extends to include other people over the years.

Essay Topic 3

Helene Hanff was surprised by how well her book of letters was received, claiming it was just a little book of "business correspondence." Do you think this is how she really felt about it? Why or why not? Support your answer fully.

(see the answer keys)

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