A Fistful of Fig Newtons Test | Final 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. The narrator compares Van Culture with the ___________________.

2. The archaeologists will probably think that TV commercials are some form of ______________.

3. Why was the narrator always seated at the back of the class?

4. What is masked as a cigar in the catalog?

5. What was the name of the General Motors magazine for which the narrator wrote an article?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the worst case scenario of a BNA?

2. What human foibles does the Johnson Smith catalog prey on and why does the narrator appreciate it?

3. What prompts the narrator to think of the Johnson Smith catalog?

4. What is the imaginary Sociology lecture the narrator gives on car culture and describe the differences between the Camper Crowd and Van people.

5. Why does the narrator focus on TV commercials as a true reflection of American society?

6. Who is Howard and why is he so depressed about the word "lemon"?

7. Describe how Mr. Leggett managed to drive The Happy Cow out of business.

8. What are the differences in driving styles between the Camper Crowd and van people?

9. What are the typical bumper sticker messages found on campers as opposed to the stickers found on vans?

10. What prompts the narrator's memory about the great ice cream war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the point of view of this book? Why did Shepherd use this point of view? Is it the only way the book could have realistically been written? How else could Shepherd have used point of view to alter the rhythm of the book? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Shepherd wrote most of these stories with the theme of disappointment. Choose three situations from any of the stories and explain the disappointment in each. How did the narrator maintain any hope given the disappointments he always seemed to experience?

Essay Topic 3

Humor takes on an almost human persona in this story. What is this literary technique called? Cite examples that support this position.

(see the answer keys)

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