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. If Sonny could choose any of the following occupations for himself, which would he choose?

2. What prompts the gypsy man to raise his head and shout a war cry in the story, "The Fisherman from Chihuahua"?

3. In what year was the latest story in this collection published?

4. With whom does Willi accidentally witness his mother having an affair?

5. What is the nationality of the authors in this collection?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is Push in the story "A Poetic for Bullies," and who is his sidekick?

3. What arrangement is struck-up between the three destitute characters in the story "1/3, 1/3, 1/3"?

4. What pleasant memory does the young girl from the story "Verona" have about her father from her childhood?

5. What memory does Sean have of his father from when he was a 6 year old boy in the story "Midair"?

6. What happens when Sean is trapped in an elevator in the story "Midair"?

7. What does Sonny blame his heroin addiction on?

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

9. 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?

10. What reaction does the narrator have when watching Sonny play his music in the story "Sonny's Blues"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the story "The Amish Farmer," Vance, a teacher, attempts to tell a story to his students to explain point-of-view. First, describe the story that Vance tells his students. How does Vance believe this story shows point-of-view narration? Do you agree with Vance? Why or why not? Then, describe Vance's students' reaction to his story. How does the reaction from the students exemplify Vance's lesson for the readers? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

In "The Story of a Scar," the young man listening to the older woman's story constantly heckles the story and judges the woman before its completion. Choose at least two examples of moments in which the young man judged the older woman. What assumptions did he make about her before she had finished her story? Did his assumptions turn out to be true? Explain why or why not. Finally, describe how the young man reacted when the older woman's story was complete. Had his opinion of the woman changed or did it remain the same? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe help 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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