American Rust Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Philipp Meyer
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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 did Harris do when he caught Virgil stealing previously?

2. What is Poe's intention in going to the woods in the beginning of Book Two?

3. How did Isaac's mother die?

4. Who steps up as an eyewitness that claims he can identify the murderer in Book Two?

5. What does Baron teach Isaac to do in Book Two?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does Isaac encounter the teenage thugs in Book Two? What happens when he encounters them?

2. How does the theme of fatalism apply to Henry and Lee English in the novel?

3. How is the character of Billy Poe described in Book One? What are his circumstances in the beginning of the novel?

4. How would you describe the atmosphere of the setting and characters in Book One?

5. Where does Isaac plan to travel in Book One? Why?

6. Describe the murder in Book One. What leads up to the murder?

7. In Book Two, the language surrounding Isaac's narrative begins to transition. What purpose does this transition serve?

8. How does the murder in Book One influence the characters of Isaac and Poe?

9. How does the theme of fatalism apply to Grace and Billy Poe in Book One?

10. Where do Isaac and Poe encounter the three drifters in Book One? Who are the drifters and how are they described?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze and discuss the character of Grace Poe in the novel. How is Grace described? What is her relationship like with her son? What is Grace's relationship like with Virgil? What is revealed of Grace's character through her actions in the story?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the character of Bud Harris in American Rust. What is Harris's position in Buell? What is his relationship to Grace and Billy Poe? What actions does Harris commit in the narrative? Are these actions noble or dishonorable? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the setting of Buell, Pennsylvania, and discuss how the setting of the novel reflects its themes. What is the economy like in Buell? What events have changed the economy? How have these changes impacted the residents of the community?

(see the answer keys)

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