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 old is Sean at the opening of "Midair"?

2. In the story "Weekend," what did George do for a living before retiring?

3. What country had John Williams been traveling in before settling in Push's neighborhood?

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

5. Who stands up for Willi Varig when he is too drunk to address the audience at the convention he had been hired to speak at?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Arty react in the story "The Bystander" when his father is committed to a mental institution?

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

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

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

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

6. How does Willie's father react when Willi tells him what he witnessed in the barn?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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