A Personal Matter 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. Where does Bird go after he gets dressed?

2. When Bird catches a glimpse of Himiko's naked body, he ___________________________.

3. How many shots of whiskey does Bird drink in quick succession?

4. What did the Hospital Director do during the baby's birth?

5. Bird and Himiko reminisce about ____________________________.

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the doctor exhibit insensitivity toward Bird about the baby on the way to the hospital?

2. What does Bird learn about the child's birth when he calls his mother-in-law?

3. What is Bird doing at the beginning of A PERSONAL MATTER? What is going on with Bird's wife and how does Bird think his life will soon change?

4. What does Bird think about after he leaves the shop and how does he avoid learning about the birth of his child?

5. What is the significance of the two men who come to Himiko's home?

6. How is sex and sexuality a means for Bird to avoid responsibility?

7. Who are the people who Bird encounters when he gets to the maternity hospital?

8. What advice does Bird's mother-in-law give him regarding visiting his wife?

9. What does Bird notice about the women watching from the windows of the maternity hospital?

10. Describe the nature of Bird's brief encounter with the transvestite on the street.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A PERSONAL MATTER is a classic story of loss and renewal. What does that classification entail? Why does this novel fit into this category? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the role of the family in A PERSONAL MATTER. What does it mean for each of the main characters? How does the family evolve in its support of each other? How typical is this family to most Japanese families living during the 1960s?

Essay Topic 3

Coming of age is an important theme in A PERSONAL MATTER. Can you cite an example to support this theme? Name two other themes and cite examples to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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