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

2. What country was Willi Varig fighting for in WWII?

3. Which of Louise's relations is most strict about her food intake in the story, "The Fat Girl"?

4. Which of the following aspects of his children's lives does Sean obsessively worry about?

5. From what country is the man who comes to the restaurant in Pendleton's town and eats alone?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Earl's first impression of the town Rock Springs?

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

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

4. How does Eileen react to the news of Carlyle's illness in the story "Fever"?

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

6. 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?

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

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

9. What does Sonny blame his heroin addiction on?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The story "The Wedding" is all about loneliness. First, describe the loneliness of Sam, Elizabeth, and the child. What is the same about their loneliness? What is different? Describe the relationship between Elizabeth's loneliness and her passion for reading. How do these two seemingly unrelated things affect each other? Finally, describe how loneliness brought Sam and Elizabeth together in marriage. In the end, do you think the couple was settling, or were they truly in love? How can you tell? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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