A Fistful of Fig Newtons Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Jean Shepherd
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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. Why are the boys frightened during swimming lessons?

2. The narrator ruminates that the place he is stranded can ___________________.

3. What could the narrator tell about the tailgater?

4. Where is the narrator's childhood summer camp located?

5. What does the narrator say is like a sentence in hell?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the narrator able to tell about the tailgater following him yesterday?

2. How does New Jersey symbolize American culture for the narrator?

3. Why was forestcraft so boring to the narrator and his friends?

4. What prompts the narrator to think of his childhood summer camp days?

5. How did the narrator conquer the tailgater just by using his mental prowess?

6. Name some New Jersey characteristics that make it the butt of comedians' jokes.

7. What happened to Big Al during the contest and what does the narrator realize about Umbaugh's actions years later?

8. In what circumstances does the narrator find himself as the novel opens and how does he perceive his circumstances?

9. Describe the narrator's experience on cleanup detail at camp.

10. How did Proust and Balzac block out the world and what does that same thing for the narrator?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why did Shepherd choose to use the first person narrator perspective for the stories? What does this point of view entail? What do you know about the characters and the plot lines that you would not know from a different point of view? What do you NOT know about the characters and plot lines based on this point of view?

Essay Topic 2

Explain some of the examples of regionalism found in the book. Can regionalism include more than accents and food? What else encompasses the culture and personality of a region? What are the major differences Shepherd found as he traveled from place to place?

Essay Topic 3

The narrator introduces the reader to several types of people in the book. Do you think he liked any one of them more than the others? Who would you choose to be your new friend among the people the narrator introduced in the book? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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