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. When does Calvin read the obituary of Dick Francis' wife?

2. Where does Alice's father grow up?

3. What is the name of the Calvin's eldest daughter?

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

5. Calvin states that he and his wife disagree about which of the following details from the night when they first meet?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Chapter three contains two humorous poems about Alice. What theme do they share?

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

Write an essay explaining the secret that Alice learns from a little girl named L. at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. What special meaning does this lesson carry for Alice? In what ways is L. similar to Alice in the way she lives her life? Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the theme of money in About Alice.

Part 1) What is Alice's attitude toward spending money? (Include the Alice Tax and Alice's Law of Compensatory Cash Flow in your response.)

Part 2) What is Calvin's attitude toward spending money? (Include Calvin's theory on writing the mortgage check.)

Compare and contrast the views of Alice and Calvin regarding money. To what extent are they products of their respective upbringings? Is money a source of conflict for them?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

(see the answer keys)

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