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 the story "Sonny's Blues," what does the narrator do for a living?

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

3. Which of the following facts is true about Eugene Kraft in "A Poetic for Bullies"?

4. What does Lewis ask Arty to be sure his aunt won't sell while Lewis is locked away?

5. How much older is George than his wife?

Short Essay Questions

1. What part about Arty's life made him feel like a "Bystander"?

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

3. Why does Daniel aggressively attack Noel in the story "The Amish Farmer"?

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

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

6. What does Sonny blame his heroin addiction on?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Letters from the Samantha" tells the tale of a sea captain and his relationship with a giant ape. First, describe how the sea captain first came in contact with the giant ape and what his first response of the animal was. Then, explain why the captain's opinion of the giant ape suddenly changed? How did the relationship between the captain and the ape finally end? Which individual proved to have more menacing animal instincts? How can you tell? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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