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. In the bank scam, which character from the novel pretends to be head of security for the bank?

2. Who is discovered dead near the end of Chapter 8?

3. How do the cab driver and Salim switch places at the end of Chapter 7?

4. Where does Mr Wednesday run into Shadow the second time in Chapter 1?

5. What particular lesson of prison life does Shadow learn early?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What dream does Shadow have on his flight?

4. What is the Lakeside raffle?

5. How does Wednesday explain to Shadow what happened at the restaurant after the summit at Odin's Hall?

6. Why does Shadow leave Lakeside in Chapter 10?

7. What is the purpose of the checkers game in Chapter 4?

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

9. Who do Shadow and Wednesday meet in Chicago?

10. How does Shadow discover that he needs to go to Cairo in Chapter 7?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS posits a world in which the gods of all cultures that have crossed the pond to America live among us and with knowledge of each other. Simultaneously, these gods are in competition with new gods comprised of secular aspects of daily life that we as a culture worship. Write an essay laying out the rules by which these gods live. From what do they draw their power? How do they carry on their divine work in the modern era? What do they fear? What do they yearn for? How, in the end, can a god be killed?

Essay Topic 2

Laura Moon is perhaps the strangest and most ambiguous of characters in AMERICAN GODS. The reader is introduced to her as an adulteress and a corpse. Write an essay about her as a character. What reason does she give for her infidelity? How does death affect the way that she interacts with the living, particularly Shadow? At what point in the novel does Laura decide to take action to help Shadow? How does this affect the reader's attitude toward her?

Essay Topic 3

AMERICAN GODS represents a fusion of ancient gravitas - the gods - and modern day kitsch - their place in America. Write an essay about the marriage of these two disparate existences: the divine and the modern. To do this, choose three locations in the novel that have both cultural significance in America and divine significance in Gaiman's mythos. What is this significance? How do the characters find themselves in these places, and what divine realities do they uncover there? How does this typify the marriage of divine and kitsch?

(see the answer keys)

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