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. Why does Bird need to call his mother-in-law?

3. What does Bird do when he realizes that Himiko has gone?

4. What request does Bird's colleague make of him?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. At what stage is Bird in his journey of personal transformation at this point?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Abandonment seems to be almost an unnamed character in the book. How pervasive is the sense of abandonment? Why does it have such a prevalent place in the lives of the characters? Explain how an inanimate object or characteristic can be a character.

Essay Topic 2

Explain what it means that Bird is a man who keeps running away. In what areas does Bird seemingly fail? How does Bird feel about these failures? What is the turning point where Bird refuses to run away any longer?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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