American Pastoral 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. Where is Nathan's friend Alan a superior court judge?

2. What is Swede's entire community in love with in regard to him?

3. Which of the following words does the narrator not use to describe the post-war energy of his neighborhood in Chapter 2?

4. Whom does Merry ask Swede to kiss her like when they are returning from a seaside cottage in Chapter 3?

5. How is Rita's hair described in the book?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator say Swede's grandfather became a glove manufacturer?

2. What is the nature of Nathan's reminiscence about "The Kid from Tomkinsville"?

3. What does Swede remember about when Merry watched monks on TV?

4. What does Jerry tell Nathan that his brother Swede had in spite of being a big success in Chapter 3?

5. What does Nathan decide he will do to complete his story on Swede in Chapter 3?

6. How does Swede describe glove making to the narrator in Chapter 1?

7. What happens when Merry asks Swede if he would kiss her as he did her mother when she was a young child?

8. How does the narrator describe the lack of a generation gap in his neighborhood?

9. What does Nathan say his working from home saves him from when talking with Jerry at the class reunion?

10. How does the narrator describe Swede and Merry at a seaside cottage and their return from it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story of Swede offers a unique and heartbreaking look into the life of an apparent American hero.

Part 1) What impact might Swede's upbringing and success as an athlete have on the way his life played out?

Part 2) What impact did Dawn's vanity and infidelity have on Swede's plight?

Part 3) What is telling of Swede based on his wanting to have a tribute to his father written by the narrator?

Essay Topic 2

Early in the story it becomes clear that the author has made use of a narrator to tell this story.

Part 1) What purpose might the author have for choosing to use a narrator to tell the story of Swede?

Part 2) What is that reader able to learn about the book's characters that they would not have because of the narrator?

Part 3) What clues are given to suggest that the author has used his own persona as the narrator of the story?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the portrayal of the family structure in the book. What might the author be saying about the typical portrayal of the family structure based on his depiction of Swede's family?

(see the answer keys)

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