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. When does the doctor want Bird to return to the hospital?

2. Who is Bird's fellow colleague who is a foreigner?

3. Who does Bird encounter when he leaves the shop?

4. What place has Bird always wanted to visit?

5. Which of the following does Bird NOT think about on this day?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

4. Where does Bird go after leaving his father-in-law's office?

5. What is the significance of the students in Bird's class and what do they represent after his in-class vomiting incident?

6. What does the glass-eyed doctor tell Bird they will know more about the baby's condition?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author uses more than one iteration on the theme of disappointment. Identify at least two characters who either embody or experience disappointment then cite an example to support your answers.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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