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. The Hospital Director's behavior makes him appear to be __________________.

2. What is Bird contemplating in the book?

3. What does the person in #52 tell Bird?

4. Who is Himiko?

5. What comes over Bird as he waits for the bus?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is unusual about the doctor who speaks to Bird about the baby?

2. 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?

3. How is Bird's encounter with the gang a boost to his flailing ego?

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

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

6. What is important foreshadowing regarding the tests of strength and Bird's encounter with the gang?

7. What is Bird's state of mind at the beginning of the book and what does the first chapter signify for his life?

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

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

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

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 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.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the internal conflict Bird feels about his life. Does he not want to be married? Does he not want a child? Does he really just want to run away to Africa and forget his responsibilities? Why did Bird engage in a relationship with his wife if he was not ready?

(see the answer keys)

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