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. What instrument does Esta play?

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

3. Who does Clyde go to for help?

4. Who does Clyde's mother say is back in town?

5. What is the real price of the fur jacket?

Short Essay Questions

1. What information does Clyde give the authorities?

2. What two taboos does Dreiser address in book 2, chapter 37?

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

4. Why does the Governor grant Clyde a hearing?

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

6. Why does Clyde accept McMillan's company?

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

8. How does hotel life contradict what Clyde has previously been taught by his family?

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

10. How has Clyde reacted to killing Roberta?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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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