American Short Story Masterpieces 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 which of the following New York City boroughs did Sonny grow up?

2. Which of the following best describes the genre of the stories the editors chose for this collection?

3. When Sarah goes missing in the story "Weekend," how does Julie search for her?

4. How do the school children respond to John Williams when he joins their school?

5. Why has Emily's daughter come to stay with her?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Lenore comfort George at the end of the story "Weekend"?

2. How does Eileen react to the news of Carlyle's illness in the story "Fever"?

3. How does Willie's father react when Willi tells him what he witnessed in the barn?

4. What is Earl's first impression of the town Rock Springs?

5. What type of relationship does Louise have with her mother in the story "The Fat Girl"?

6. How does Pendleton react to the newcomer in his restaurant in the story "The Fisherman From Chihuahua"?

7. How does Arty's father react when his son comes for a visit at the mental institution in the story "The Bystander"?

8. How does Louise's husband react when Louise gains weight during her pregnancy?

9. What type of relationship does George have with his ex-students?

10. What unfortunate site does Willi witness in the story of the same name, and how does the young boy react to what he's seen?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story "Talk of Heroes" is the tale of wars, both personal and literal. Choose one character from this story who fought in a literal war and describe what happened to this character as a result of their experiences. Compare those experiences to the experiences of a character who fought in a personal war. What comparison do you think the author is trying to make about battles (either real or figurative) in one's personal life. Which is more dangerous? Which has disastrous effects? How can you tell? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

In the story "The Misfits," Gay is a man who cannot commit to anything for a long period of time. Describe Gay's character and explain why he a fear of commitment. Choose one relationship in Gay's life and explain how his fear of commitment affected that relationship. Finally, describe the relationship between Gay and Perce. What brings these two men closer together? What threatens to tear them apart? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

"Water Liars" expresses the relationship between truth and story telling. Choose one of the stories that the men told on Farte's Pier and express whether or not you believe the story to be true and why. Why do the men on the pier continue to tell the story? What message is sent to the reader about the value of truth, or lack thereof, in a good story? How do the stories told at Farte's Pier help the narrator cope with his personal problems? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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