A Summons to Memphis Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Peter Taylor
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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 is Alex's wife's name?

2. How does Alex refer to Betsy and Josephine?

3. How does Alex's father define the best human being?

4. What is the name of the area in which Betsy and Josephine live?

5. How old is Phillip when the family moves to Memphis?

Short Essay Questions

1. Of all the Carver children, the least is said about Georgie. In Chapter 4, what information is revealed about Georgie? How would one describe Georgie and who he is in the Carver family?

2. Betsy and Josephine always speak to Mr. Carver and Philip about their late-night dates and whether or not they should marry. In Chapter 6, Phillip knows that this is a game the two sisters play. Are there romances for these two women? Who does Phillip realize these phantom men are?

3. In Chapter 4, thirteen year-old Phillip introduces us to his first serious girl friend. Who is the young girl he falls in love with and how does he describe her? What develops in their relationship, and how does it end?

4. Phillip paints a descriptive picture of his two sisters, Betsy and Josephine, in Chapter 1. How are the two sisters similar? How do they differ?

5. In Chapter 5, Phillip leaves his father's home and moves to New York City. How does he manage this? Why does he choose New York? How does his family react?

6. As Chapter 1 opens, Phillip is alone in the apartment he shares with Holly Kaplan. Why is this the case? What are the things Phillip thinks about while deciding whether to go to Memphis?

7. Phillip visits Alex in Paris during the war in Chapter 5. Describe their time together in Paris. What happens to them on the Rue de Rivoli one afternoon?

8. In Chapter 5, Phillip's narrative presents many examples of Alex's ability to befriend both Mr Carver and Phillip Carver. What are the examples Phillip gives?

9. In his letters to Phillip, Alex talks about Betsy and Josephine's involvement in the social scene in Memphis. In Chapter 3, Alex explains that the two women are rather considered a social institution in Memphis. But Alex also speaks at length about how the two women are the "laughing stock of the town." What does Alex mean by this? How does Phillip react to seeing his sisters when he visits?

10. In Chapter 4, Phillip speaks of two important relationships in the novel. One is the friendship between Phillip and Alex. The other is the friendship between Alex and Mr. Carver. Father and son are not particularly close, but each are close to Alex. In this chapter, how does this triangle of friendship begin to display itself?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who do you think is the most memorable character in the novel? Why?

Essay Topic 2

What is the climactic point in the novel? Is it believable? How does it change the action in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

The novel is not written in straight chronological time. How does the author deal with the element of time in the novel? Is it effective?

(see the answer keys)

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