American Short Story Masterpieces Test | Final 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 "The Misfits," what does Gay Langland do for a living?

2. What group of people does the wife in "The Used-Boys Raisers" believe were put on earth to be "a thorn in the side of mankind"?

3. What type of books most interest the narrator in the story "Dream Children"?

4. How old is David in the story "Walking Out"?

5. How does Poma react when she discovers the truth about Ile Galven's past?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Arnold Friend in the story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"

2. How does the grandmother react when face-to-face with the killer she read about in the newspapers?

3. How did the older woman in "The Story of a Scar" get the scar on her face?

4. Who do Galven and Poma almost break up in the story "Ile's Forest"?

5. How is the narrator viewed by the townsfolk in the story "Dream Children"?

6. How does the narrator react when her father falls ill in "The Lover of Horses"?

7. Why does the rabbi call the young boys "Murderers!" in the story of the same name?

8. What lie did James tell his fellow bus riders in the story "The Liar"?

9. What strains threaten to ruin the marriage of Leroy Moffitt and Norma Jean in the story "Shiloh"?

10. How does Leo Finkel meet his wife in "The Magic Barrel"?

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

"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

"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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