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. Where do Clyde and Roberta decide to find a doctor?

3. What is the name of Roberta's new landlady?

4. Who does Roberta room with?

5. Who does Roberta's behavior remind Clyde of?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Dreiser use the crime to show the American class structure?

3. Describe how Clyde kills Roberta.

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

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

6. How does Roberta's moral upbringing affect her relationship with Clyde?

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

8. Why does the Governor grant Clyde a hearing?

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

10. In what way are Clyde's faults exposed in chapter 9, book two?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel depicts the class system in America in the twenties.

1) How and why was life changing for the working classes in twenties America? How difficult was it for a member of the working classes to make an impact on society?

2) What were the role of the upper classes in twenties America? How much control did they have?

3) Do you think there is still a recognizable class system in America? In what ways has it changed?

Essay Topic 2

Clyde cannot resist women. Why do you think he is so weak in this regard? How do you think it affects his judgment?

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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