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. Two words likely to be found on the bumper stickers of vans are love and ____________.

2. What is the narrator's most common position in life?

3. Which animals stun the archaeologists in the commercials?

4. The narrator recalls sitting in a class taught by _______________.

5. According to Howard, what are the BNAs?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Define a BNA and cite some supporting examples.

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

Shepherd was masterful at crafting literary descriptions for his readers. Choose a paragraph from the book which you find especially descriptive. How do you think Shepherd was able to craft it the way he did? What is so appealing to you about the passage? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

One of the most striking characteristics of Shepherd's writing was his complete honesty. Explain why this is necessary to complete a book of this nature. Would a reader be able to see through fabrications and falsehoods in a book like this? Describe why this format is the perfect for Shepherd's personality.

(see the answer keys)

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