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. At what hotel does Clyde find a job?

2. What is the name of the hotel does Clyde finds a job?

3. What does Hortense want to go with the fur jacket?

4. Why does Clyde feel intimidated at the party?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What information does Clyde give the authorities?

2. In what way have the defense created a strong case for Clyde's innocence?

3. In what way does the final chapter replay the opening chapter?

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

5. How does Clyde's life change when he finds the job at the hotel?

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

7. Why does Sparser drive at such a careless speed?

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

9. In what way is the political situation getting in the way of the trial?

10. What part have truth and justice played in the novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Foreshadowing plays a big part in the novel. What is foreshadowing? How does Dreiser use foreshadowing in the novel? What affect does it have on the novel's meaning?

Essay Topic 3

An American is a famous book which has greatly influenced popular culture. Choose a film or book written after An American Tragedy that you think was influenced by the novel and discuss there similarities in terms of a) plot b) character c) themes.

(see the answer keys)

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