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. What item in the catalog would appeal to the violent?

2. What was the narrator's first class in high school?

3. What might be a typical soap item disguised as something else in the catalog?

4. How is the Johnson Smith catalog distributed?

5. The archaeologists may think that Colonel Sanders is a ________________.

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Define a BNA and cite some supporting examples.

4. What ironies does the narrator point out in the actuality of camper and van usage as opposed to the typical perceptions of the vehicles?

5. Why do people find items such as those found in the Johnson Smith catalog to be humorous?

6. Why does the narrator attribute his academic doom to classroom seating?

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

8. What defense mechanisms did the kids in the back of the room develop in order to deflect the teachers' questions?

9. How does the narrator's experience in the Lincoln Tunnel mirror his demeanor during his school years?

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

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 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

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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