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 kind of book is Bird looking at as the novel begins?

2. Who does Bird see standing at the windows of the hospital?

3. What did the Hospital Director do during the baby's birth?

4. What does Bird note about Himiko's apartment?

5. What is Bird contemplating in the book?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. How does Bird's thoughts about his child as a war hero show what Bird really feels about the journey ahead for the child and himself?

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

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

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 3

What is the overall setting setting for the novel? Be sure to include geography, time period and any pertinent popular culture events. Why did Oe choose to use these places in the novel?

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