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. What happened to the narrator on the previous day while traveling?

2. What does Lieutenant Cherry warn the men about not doing so the locals won't come after them with guns?

3. For what job does the narrator get selected on the train?

4. What is the prize for the winning lodge?

5. What do the boys learn in forestcraft?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Captain Crabtree manage the situation with the reluctant fat Chipmunk?

2. Why does the narrator question his impatience to get through the tunnel?

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

4. What prompts the narrator to recall his college days?

5. What does the narrator think about the New Jersey traffic circles?

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

7. Why does the book never mention the narrator's wartime experiences?

8. Describe some of the misfortunes that happened to the boys as they tried to engage in camp activities.

9. How did the narrator's army experience separate him from the world?

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

Create a "character" sketch of the state of New Jersey. What personality shines through for you for this state? Did Shepherd make you want to learn more and perhaps visit one day? What would you most like to see? What is the one fact or interesting feature that you can recall about New Jersey? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Explain how the narrator is always positioned as an "everyman" in each of the stories. Define what is meant by "everyman" and cite two examples in which the narrator assumes this role. Was he comfortable knowing he was neither brain nor brawn, but a curious observer? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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