About Alice 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 is the headline in the magazine article in which Alice is featured as a model at the age of thirty-five?

2. What is Alice's maiden name?

3. At the end of chapter three, Calvin describes an event in Alice's life that takes her by surprise. What happens?

4. What is the name of Calvin's youngest daughter?

5. According to Calvin, which of the following best describes Alice at age fifty?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways do you think Alice serves as Calvin Trillin's muse? Include characteristics that inspire his writing.

2. What is one positive quality that Alice inherits from her father? Why do you think this quality is especially beneficial to Alice?

3. In chapter two, Calvin Trillin reveals that he never stops trying to impress his wife Alice. Give an example of this.

4. Calvin Trillin states that from the day he meets Alice, he never stops trying to impress her. Why?

5. When Calvin Trillin describes the first time he sees Alice in chapter two, what does he say is the first thing that strikes him about her? Is it simply her attractiveness, or something else?

6. In chapter one, Calvin Trillin states that the stories he writes about his family can be compared what kinds of television shows?

7. Describe Calvin Trillin's father-in-law.

8. In chapter two, Calvin Trillin draws a parallel in the relationship between the novelist Dick Francis and his late wife Mary and Trillin's own marriage to Alice. Explain.

9. What are some of the adversities Alice faces throughout her life?

10. What does Alice keep in her Important Things envelope? Why are the things inside it so important to her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Calvin Trillin states that Alice takes on a caretaker role with her parents early on in life.

Part 1) Compare and contrast the type of relationship Alice has with her parents with that of Alice's relationship with her own daughters.

Part 2) Who is a better role model, Alice or Alice's mother? Why?

Include examples from the book.

Essay Topic 2

Does Alice believe she is accurately portrayed in Trillin's books and articles?

• Compare and contrast Trillin's portrayal of his wife in About Alice to the character in his previous works.

• Include specific examples of Alice's real-life qualities, as provided in the memoir.

Essay Topic 3

A few years after his wife Alice's diagnosis with lung cancer, Calvin Trillin is suddenly overcome with emotion in an airport.

Part 1) Describe the event and its significance in the memoir.

Part 2) What does this event say about Trillin's ability to process his wife's illness?

Part 3) Is Trillin in denial? If so, does he admit to it?

(see the answer keys)

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