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. How are Sonny and the narrator related in "Sonny's Blues"?

2. What does Louise's husband do for a living?

3. Who was the last person Sarah was with before she disappeared?

4. To what does the narrator in the story "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" compare his neighbor, the poor woman?

5. Which of the following adjectives would Sean use to describe his work life?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What interesting behavior does Damaso exhibit while in town in the story "The Fisherman From Chihuahua"?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why is Willi Varig hired to tell his story to an audience of people in the story, "Talk of Heroes"?

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 "Ile Forest," centers around one singular crime and the idea of man judging another man, or absolving him of his crimes. First, describe the crime that was committed in Ile's Forest. Who was involved? What was the outcome of the crime? Choose two characters from Ile's present life and describe how these two characters judged Ile for his crime. Were they willing to forgive him? Why or why not? In the end, do you think justice was served to Ile for his crimes? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text that you strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

The story "Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is full of moments when reality and fantasy intermix, particularly in the mind of Connie. Describe the fantasy Connie has about love and compare that to the reality of the romance present in her young life. Then, describe the fantasy Connie creates about Arnold Friend and compare it to the reality of who he really is. Finally, explain the way that Connie's experiences with Arnold, either real or imagined, affected the way she views the world. Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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