A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 does Toph join in this chapter?

2. What do Dave and his sibling live off?

3. What is Dave's only income in this chapter?

4. Where does Dave sleep in this chapter?

5. What does Dave feel it is important to show Toph in this chapter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is wrong with Dave at the end of Chapter 8?

2. How does Dave's disorganization affect Toph?

3. How does Dave deal with John in Chapter 7?

4. Why are the cast members of the Real World not so welcome at the photo shoot in Chapter 7?

5. Summarize the book.

6. What kind of relationships with women does Dave have during this period?

7. What problems does Dave have cooking?

8. Describe Dave's search for his wallet.

9. How does Dave convince the producer he did not have a privileged upbringing?

10. Why does Dave struggle to discard of some of his parent possessions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine the fake obituaries Dave and his fellow editors run in the Might magazine.

1) What comment is the magazine trying to make by running fake obituaries?

2) Why do the fake obituaries backfire so badly?

3) How do the fake obituaries express the book's theme of death and how people react to it?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the character of Toph.

1) How did the death of Toph's parents affect him?

2) How differently will Toph grow up without his parents?

3) What positive and negative effects has Dave had on Toph's life?

Essay Topic 3

Look at the structure of the book.

1) Discuss elements of the narrative structure: exposition, conflict, complication, climax, resolution and conclusion. Do all the elements make for a logical and linear story? How does the story's structure express the book's ideas?

2) Examine the way Eggers uses other people in the story to express his ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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