An American Tragedy 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. Who does Clyde go to for help?

2. How money does Clyde's mother ask from him per week?

3. Who does Clyde become infatuated with at the Griffith's party?

4. What does Sondra make for Clyde in chapter 32?

5. Why has Roberta come to the lake?

Short Essay Questions

1. What evidence does bring to the court in his opening statement?

2. Describe how Clyde kills Roberta.

3. Why does Heit get in contact with Orville Mason?

4. Why does the Samuel Griffith family refuse Clyde's insanity plea?

5. What do you think is Clyde's main weakness?

6. How does Clyde try to appeal to his rich friends?

7. How has Clyde's behavior affected those around him?

8. How does Roberta and Clyde's relationship become even more complicated in book 2, chapter 38?

9. Why does Mason ask for a special session of the grand jury?

10. In what way does poverty benefit the prosecutions case?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

An American Tragedy ends as it started with the Griffith family preaching on the streets with their young grandson Russell. What do you think will happen to Russell in the future? In what way can Mrs. Griffith stop Russell from turning out like Clyde? How important is a child's upbringing?

Essay Topic 2

Using examples to support your argument discuss the following statement. Dreiser prose is pedestrian, uninspired and cliched.

Essay Topic 3

Mason uses the trial to enhance his political reputation while the defense makes up elaborate lies to persuade the jury to find Clyde innocent. How accurate do you think Dreiser's depiction of American justice is? Do you think it is a negative or positive portrayal or simply realistic?

(see the answer keys)

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