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. What activity does the religious community frown upon?

3. Who does Gilbert think is responsible for Clyde's Christmas invitation?

4. What does Ratterer order with his wine?

5. Where does Clyde visit to stave off loneliness?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jephson boost Clyde's courage?

2. In what way does the landscape play an important part in chapter 29, book 1?

3. Why does Clyde befriend Miller Nicholson?

4. What is Clyde's view of his relationship with Roberta?

5. In what way does Clyde's behavior reflect American society?

6. Why does Clyde find it so difficult to provide for his family?

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

8. Why does Gilbert not like Clyde?

9. How do the autopsy results change the whole perplexion of the case?

10. Describe how Clyde kills Roberta.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

An American Tragedy is written in three parts. Examine the structure of the novel.

1) In what way dos the first part show the importance of a child's upbringing?

2) What are the main themes of the second part of the novel?

3) Why do you think Clyde's character does not genuinely seek redemption in the final part of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Clyde kills Roberta because he desperately wants to be part of the upperclass. How different do you think the lives of the upper class and working classes were? Can you understand why Clyde was so desperate to escape his impoverished background?

Essay Topic 3

The novel depicts the American dream going badly wrong. What do you think is the American dream? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the American dream? How does the American dream affect the mindset of American society?

(see the answer keys)

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