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 does Walter Dillard's uncle work?

2. Who does Clyde go to for help?

3. What is the name of Clyde's cousin?

4. What kind of shop does Short own?

5. Where does Clyde visit at the beginning of chapter 34?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is Clyde's moral upbring still apparent in chapter 17?

3. Why does Clyde befriend Miller Nicholson?

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

5. How do Clyde and Roberta get over their moral upbringings?

6. Why does Clyde continue to go against what he believes is right?

7. In what ways is Clyde becoming a less sympathetic character?

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

9. Why does Clyde accept McMillan's company?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Dreiser depicts Clyde as a moral coward. Do you think this depiction of Clyde is fair? What are Clyde's strengths and weaknesses? Describe how Clyde could of used his strengths and weaknesses to become a success.

Essay Topic 3

An American Tragedy ends as it started with the Griffith family preaching on the streets with their young grandson Russell. What do you think will happen to Russell in the future? In what way can Mrs. Griffith stop Russell from turning out like Clyde? How important is a child's upbringing?

(see the answer keys)

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