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. In chapter two, how much time passes between Calvin's first and second meeting with Alice?

2. Where does Calvin keep one of the photos of Alice from the article in chapter three?

3. Calvin claims that the first time he sees Alice, he detects what quality about her heritage?

4. According to Calvin, what leads to his success in courting Alice?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter one, the reader learns that there is one condolence letter that makes Calvin Trillin laugh. Why?

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

3. In what ways is Alice's beauty a hardship?

4. According to Calvin Trillin, Alice's beauty gives her some advantages. Explain.

5. Does Alice believe she is accurately portrayed in Trillin's books and articles? Briefly describe why or why not.

6. In chapter three, why does Alice accept the request to be photographed in a fashion issue of a magazine?

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

8. 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?

9. 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.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Both Abigail and Sarah grow up to have careers in social work.

• According to Trillin, which parent influence Abigail and Sarah more? Why?

• In what ways does this parent influence Abigail and Sarah?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 2

Is About Alice a life-affirming memoir? Why or why not? Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 3

Select one of the major themes or subjects below from About Alice. Be sure to select a theme or subject about which you have not already written a detailed essay.

• The relationship between Calvin and Alice.

• Marriage.

• Perseverance.

• Loss.

• Cigarettes.

• Beauty

• The relationship between Alice and her parents.

• The relationship between Alice and her daughters.

• Gratitude.

• Social activism.

• Money.

• Parenthood.

Be sure to include quotes from the novel that help develop the theme.

(see the answer keys)

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