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 doctor describes the baby as __________________.

2. From what is Bird suffering this morning?

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

4. The doctor would like to be present for the baby's __________________.

5. What condition does the new baby have?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bird learn about the child's birth when he calls his mother-in-law?

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

4. How is sex and sexuality a means for Bird to avoid responsibility?

5. What does Bird observe when he visits his father-in-law at the university?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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