A River Runs Through It 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 Norman ask Paul?

2. What do Norman and Mr. Maclean talk about while watching Paul fish?

3. This story is based on ________________.

4. Who catches the most fish on this day?

5. Why does Norman think that Paul stays close to him while fishing?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who arrives to surprise Norman and Paul at the cabin?

2. On what is the story based?

3. Where do Norman and Paul escape from Norman's family problems a few days later?

4. What is Norman's reaction to the phone call?

5. Neal declares that he wants to fish but what does he do instead?

6. Who goes on the fishing trip the next morning?

7. What do Norman's wife and mother-in-law finally realize about Neal?

8. What do Norman and Paul receive in the form of sermons from their father?

9. Why does Norman not remain to fish with Neal?

10. What happens one night after Norman and Paul spend the day fishing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Norman and Mr. Maclean feel powerless to help Paul rid alcohol from his life. Explain what Norman and Mr. Maclean could have done to help Paul. What sources of support are available today for alcoholics that were not available at the beginning of the twentieth century? Do you think that Mrs. Maclean quietly tried to help Paul and ended up enabling him instead?

Essay Topic 2

Norman never does achieve the level of esteem he hopes for from Bill. Does this have anything to do with Norman's choice not to return to Bill's crew the following summer? Or does Norman just want to expand his skill sets by working in a different area? Why would Bill ask Norman to return if he did not like him? Compare and contrast what Bill and Norman were looking for from each other.

Essay Topic 3

In spite of their differences, Norman and Paul have learned to respect each other. Name some of the qualities and behaviors that differentiate the two brothers. How are the brothers alike? Why does Mrs. Maclean seem to favor Paul over Norman? Is it because Paul is the baby of the family? Or does Mrs. Maclean know that Paul is especially vulnerable?

(see the answer keys)

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