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. To what does Willi compare his household life after accidentally witnessing his mother having sexual relations?

2. How many people's lives did Willi help save thanks to his heroic efforts in WWII?

3. How long had it been since the narrator saw Sonny before his arrest?

4. In the story, "The Bystander," who did Arty's father attack before being committed to a mental institution?

5. What is the name of the man with whom Willi's mother has sexual relations?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is the narrator viewed by the townsfolk in the story "Dream Children"?

3. What is Sean's married life like?

4. What prompts the narrator in "Sonny's Blues" to reach out to his incarcerated brother?

5. How does a monkey end up aboard ship in the story "Letters from the Samantha"?

6. Why doesn't Push like John Williams, and what does he do about it?

7. What type of relationship do George and Lenore have in the story "Weekend"?

8. Why don't roommates Henry and Osmond get along in the story "The Christian Roommates"?

9. Why does Vance tell the story of "The Amish Farmer" to his high school English class?

10. What is Carlyle's life like at the opening of the story "Fever"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story "Bystander" is a reflection of fatherhood as seen through the eyes of Arty and his relationship with his father, Lewis. First, describe the relationship Arty had with his father in his childhood. Then, compare that to the relationship he has with his father in adulthood. Explain why Arty feels like a "Bystander" in his relationship with his father and why, even though he feels inactive. Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

The story "The Wedding" is all about loneliness. First, describe the loneliness of Sam, Elizabeth, and the child. What is the same about their loneliness? What is different? Describe the relationship between Elizabeth's loneliness and her passion for reading. How do these two seemingly unrelated things affect each other? Finally, describe how loneliness brought Sam and Elizabeth together in marriage. In the end, do you think the couple was settling, or were they truly in love? How can you tell? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Many critics have claimed that the story "Willi" is a cautionary tale against the danger of infidelity. Describe the situation through which infidelity is introduced into this story. Create a list of emotions generated by the characters in this story after the infidelity is revealed. Explain whether you agree with the critics who claim this story to be a cautionary tale and explain why. Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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