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 do Dave and Toph have sword fights with?

2. What does Dave want to join?

3. Why is Toph always late for school?

4. What did Dave's father die from?

5. What is Dave struggling with in this chapter?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What different directions do the characters take in Chapter 2?

3. Describe Dave's father's funeral.

4. Why does Dave think it is important to go to the gym?

5. What does Dave do when he gets lonely in Chapter 5?

6. How does Dave act in the club with his friends?

7. Why does Dave call a nurse rather than take his mother to the hospital?

8. What does Dave do during the nights?

9. How do the police deal with Dave's stolen wallet in Chapter 5?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Examine Dave's relationship with his parents.

1) Why does Dave hold his mother in much higher regard than his father?

2) How have Dave's parents affected his personality and the decisions he makes in the book?

(see the answer keys)

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