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. What does Sondra invite Clyde to do at a later date?

3. Where does Ratterer tell Clyde he is from?

4. What does Clyde comment on to make her feel like a princess?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Dreiser show Clyde and Roberta's fragmented thoughts?

3. Why does the Governor grant Clyde a hearing?

4. How has the accident in Kansas City changed Clyde for the better?

5. How does Roberta and Clyde's relationship become even more complicated in book 2, chapter 38?

6. In what way does Clyde's behavior reflect American society?

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

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

9. Describe the Griffith family.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Both Clyde and Roberta are restricted by their moral upbringings. Using two examples from the book discuss how their upbringings affect their decisions in the book. Do you think their moral upbringings were more destructive than helpful?

Essay Topic 2

An American Tragedy is written in the third person. Why do you think Dreiser chose to write the story in the third person? How do you think the meaning of the story would of changed if it was written in the first person?

Essay Topic 3

Dreiser was a socialist. Using two examples from the novel, discuss the ways the story reflects Dreiser's political ideas?

(see the answer keys)

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