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 the angry student realize about Bird?

2. Where does Bird go with the doctor to take the baby?

3. The Director of the hospital asks Bird if he would like to see ___________________.

4. What did Bird do the summer after he got married?

5. From what is Bird suffering this morning?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is ironic about Bird's using sex to avoid responsibility?

2. 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?

3. Who is Delchef and how is he introduced into the story?

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

5. In what ways could the women at the maternity hospital be symbolized as angels?

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

7. Why did the author give names to only a few of the characters?

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

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

10. What do the giggling doctor and the one-eyed doctor symbolize in the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author uses several instances of foreshadowing in the story. Explain what foreshadowing is and cite at least two examples making sure to explain what makes each an instance of foreshadowing.

Essay Topic 2

Project into the future ten years after the end of the novel and write a brief synopsis for Bird's life. What is his relationship with his son? What is his relationship with his wife? Have his dreams of going to Africa been completely squelched? What is Bird's state of mind? How does Bird feel about himself now?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of women in 1960s Japan when the women in the novel are living their lives. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do they have? What freedoms did they have that 21st century women do not have?

(see the answer keys)

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