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 did Dave's father die from?

2. What do Beth and Dave think Toph is not ready for yet?

3. What do Dave and his sibling live off?

4. Who does Dave call for advice on his mother's nose bleed?

5. What is the name of Dave's sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Dave feel when he finally leaves Toph with a babysitter?

2. How does Dave help his mother in the first chapter?

3. Why does Dave not date many women?

4. Why does Dave feel uncomfortable when he takes Toph to Little League games?

5. How does Dave's disorganization affect Toph?

6. What is Dave and Beth's plan?

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

8. Why doesn't Dave like telling people why he has to look after Toph?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose two of the following people and outline his/her influence on Dave Eggers' life:

1) Toph

2) His father

3) His mother

4) Beth

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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