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. Which statement best describes Alice's upbringing?

2. In what year does Alice die?

3. In chapter one, what object does Alice wave in the air following Calvin's speech?

4. Who writes the condolence letter that makes Calvin laugh?

5. What reasons does Calvin give for stating that "Alice doesn't look like who she is"?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter three, Calvin Trillin explains that Alice's role as caretaker to her parents has a positive impact on her life. How?

2. In what ways are Alice's looks, coupled with the superficial facts about her background, misleading?

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

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

5. In chapter one, Trillin reveals that although his readers become familiar with Alice as a sensible, somewhat serious character in his books and articles, they never really know her. Why?

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write about the messages in this memoir about parenting.

Part 1) Does Calvin Trillin agree with his wife Alice about the importance of attending their children's school plays and eating dinner together? Why or why not?

Part 2) To what extent does Alice's parenting style differ from that of her husband?

Part 3) Why does Trilllin spend so much time on the subject of parenting in About Alice?

Part 4) Trillin provides brief glimpses into the points of view of Abigail and Sarah. What do their statements say about the parenting they receive?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on any one of the following aspects of Alice's beauty.

Part 1) Discuss the power and influence of Alice's beauty. How does it affect others? What opportunities does it afford her? What challenges does it bring?

Part 2) Alice is an outspoken, politically active woman who is a young woman during the time of the Feminism movement in the United States. Do you think that Alice's beauty and concern for her appearance make her unique in that context? If so, in what ways?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 3

Explore the concept of love between a husband and wife in About Alice. Be sure to answer the following questions:

• How does Trillin portray his love for his wife?

• How does Trillin portray Alice's love for him?

• What is unique about their marriage? Is it a marriage of equals? Why or why not?

• What statement does Trillin's memoir make about his love for her?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

(see the answer keys)

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