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. Why has Emily's daughter come to stay with her?

2. What news does Arty receive about his father on the first day he visits him in the mental institution?

3. What possession does the narrator in the story "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" have that is tantalizing to his neighbor woman?

4. What school subject does Vance teach in the story "The Amish Farmer"?

5. Which of the following examples is NOT a way that Push attempts to show dominance over John Williams?

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 does Sonny blame his heroin addiction on?

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

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

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

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

8. Why does Lenore comfort George at the end of the story "Weekend"?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story "Push" is all about the dangers of threats, either real or imagined. First, describe the two main characters of the story. What is the same about these two boys? What is different? Describe how they threaten one another and what actions each boy takes to ensure that they are the most popular kid on the playground. Then, describe the events of the boy's final fight on the playground. Which was victorious? What did each of the boys learn about themselves through their fights and threats for popularity? 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

"Water Liars" expresses the relationship between truth and story telling. Choose one of the stories that the men told on Farte's Pier and express whether or not you believe the story to be true and why. Why do the men on the pier continue to tell the story? What message is sent to the reader about the value of truth, or lack thereof, in a good story? How do the stories told at Farte's Pier help the narrator cope with his personal problems? Be sure to include examples from the text that you believe strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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