American Gods 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 does Audrey Burton do at Laura Moon's funeral that surprises Shadow?

2. What was Laura doing in the car with Robbie Burton when they were killed?

3. How does the waitress in Chapter 9 react to Wednesday's hitting on her?

4. What does Shadow Moon overhear his kidnappers saying about the old gods as he's being taken away?

5. What does Shadow Moon tell Wednesday immediately after Laura Moon leaves his room?

Short Essay Questions

1. What deal does Shadow strike in his Chapter 9 dream?

2. What unexpected incident occurs to Shadow Moon after the funeral in Chapter 2?

3. Describe Shadow's temptation by Media.

4. How does Shadow escape captivity at the end of Chapter 6?

5. What is Wednesday's plan to get money from the bank?

6. How does Shadow enter the realm of the gods at the end of Chapter 5?

7. What dream does Shadow have on his flight?

8. What new threat does Wednesday discuss with the old gods in Chapter 6?

9. What happens to the Vikings in America at the end of Chapter 3?

10. How does Essie Tregowen make her way to America in Chapter 4?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Neil Gaiman chooses to begin each of his chapters with an epigram of some sort. These quotes run the gamut from the scholarly to the pop-cultural. Write an essay about three of these epigrams. What is the quotes relationship to the events of its associated chapter? What about the novel as a whole? How does this quote connect to some central theme of the novel? Lastly, what connection does the source of the quote have to America as a spiritual place?

Essay Topic 2

The premise of Neil Gaiman's novel is founded on the notion that the gods whose belief systems came to America with immigrant peoples have lived in some human form in America of centuries. As such, Gaiman is tasked with the duty of creating a human character that represents something essential about each god. Write an essay on the personification of the intangible, focusing on three belief systems:

Part 1) Czernobog and his three daughters are a Russian family living in Chicago. What belief system do these four characters represent? What duties do they perform, and how are these duties manifest in a modern America? As modern characters, how have the traditional duties of these gods adapted to a new era?

Part 2) Mr. Nancy is clearly intended to represent the African god Anansi. Describe Mr. Nancy, both his physical appearance and the occupation he has in modern America. How does this coalesce with his role as the African trickster god? When Shadow enters the realm of the gods, how does Mr. Nancy's appearance change to reflect Anansi's true form?

Part 3) Ibis and Jacquel represent two Egyptian gods in the novel. List every aspect of their personalities that links them with this. When Shadow undergoes his passage into death, how do Jacquel and Ibis play an integral role?

Essay Topic 3

The new gods of the novel are perhaps Gaiman's strangest creation, being not necessarily inherently divine. Write an essay discussing these gods and their place in the narrative. Why are they divine at the time of the novel? What has invested them with their divinity, and how are they manifest on earth? Why do they want to destroy the old gods? In the end, are these new gods actually meant to be the villains of the novel? If not, what are they?

(see the answer keys)

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