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. At the opening of the story, how does Willi feel about his life?

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

3. Which of the following statements is NOT true about the girl in the story "Verona"?

4. How much older is George than his wife?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What type of relationship does Carlyle form with Mrs. Webster in the story "Fever"?

3. Why has Earl taken to the road in "Rock Springs" and who does he take with him?

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

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

6. What types of authors did Jenks and Carver seek to publish in this short story collection?

7. What is Sean's married life like?

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

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

10. What does Sonny blame his heroin addiction on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story "The Lover of Horses" is a story about obsessions. First, create a list of the obsessions present in the family of the narrator. Which of these obsessions do you think is most harmful to the family's function? Why? Choose one of the obsessions from your list and explain how it leads to heartache for some characters, and a sense of grandeur for others. Finally, explain how the narrator is able to succumb to her own obsessions only as a method of letting her father go. Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

"Shiloh" is yet another tale of a couple torn apart by the loss of their child. First, describe how Leroy and Norma's child died and what each of their reactions was to this loss. Describe how the loss of a child affected Norman and Lyle's marriage. What does Lyle want for and from Norma? What does Norma want for and from Lyle? At the end of the story, do you think there is hope for Norma and Lyle making their marriage work? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

In the story "Fever," Carlyle has three main women in his life who play a part in helping him heal from his "sickness." Describe the sickness that Carlyle suffers from in his story. Choose two of the important women in his life and describe their role in helping him heal. What is the same about their methods of care? What is different? Describe how Carlyle emerged from his sickness, and what he learned about his life and relationships while he was ill. Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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