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 what month and year does Calvin first meet Alice?

2. What is Alice's maiden name?

3. According to Calvin, what is Alice wearing when he sees her for the first time?

4. What is the name of the magazine that hosts the party where Calvin first meets Alice?

5. Alice tells her husband that he peaks in which year?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

7. 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.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Write about the levels of perseverance exhibited by Alice and Calvin.

Part 1) In what ways does Alice or Calvin exhibit perseverance?

Part 2) What keeps them hopeful?

Part 3) Do either person ever lose hope? If so, when? What is the outcome?

Cite examples from the book in your response.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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