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. What does Bird think about as he is on his way to visit the person in #54?

2. Of what is Bird convinced as he walks through the hospital?

3. What does Bird note about the hospital's Director?

4. What does the gang yell as they leave Bird?

5. What does Bird do as he reads a short story to his class?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Bird's father-in-law give to Bird during the visit and why is this an unlikely offering given Bird's troubles with addiction?

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

3. Waking up sick with a hangover, what does Bird think might serve as partial restitution for the baby's dire situation?

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

5. What is the significance of Himiko's character in the story?

6. Describe the altercation Bird has with a student in his class after Bird vomits.

7. What is significant about Bird's hangover and vomiting in class?

8. How does Bird learn that his child has a problem?

9. What seems to exaggerate Bird's feelings of inadequacy at the arcade?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are only a few characters in the book who have names. Why does the author choose to name the characters he does? What point is the author trying to make by not giving names to the other characters? Why is it significant that the baby does not have a name until late in the story?

Essay Topic 2

The author uses more than one instance of irony in the book. Cite at least two other examples you can identify in the book and note why they are examples of irony.

Essay Topic 3

The frustration of unfulfilled affection touches several characters in the story. Name at least two characters who experience unfulfilled love and the situations that occur as a result.

(see the answer keys)

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