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. Where is Hortense cut?

2. What is the name of Clyde's rich uncle?

3. Why does Clyde feel intimidated at the party?

4. Why does Samuel invite Clyde for Christmas dinner?

5. What is the name of the restaurant Clyde has dinner at?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Roberta feel about Clyde's new friends?

3. How do social mores and class structure hold Clyde back?

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

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

6. Describe the death house.

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

8. What do you think drives Clyde to pursue Sondra and ignore Roberta?

9. How does Clyde react to the news Roberta is pregnant?

10. Why does Clyde think Jephson is his last hope?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

The book ends with Clyde being executed. What are your views on capital punishment? Why do you think society has become less tolerant of capital punishment?

(see the answer keys)

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