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. Who does Roberta's behavior remind Clyde of?

2. Who does Sondra greet last?

3. What does Sondra like doing?

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

5. What is Oscar's surname?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think is Clyde's main weakness?

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

3. Describe Roberta and Clyde's day out in chapter 18, book 2.

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

5. Why does Clyde accept McMillan's company?

6. What three taboos and social rules does Roberta learn in this chapter?

7. What are Clyde's parents opinion on his new job?

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

9. How has Clyde's behavior affected those around him?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Clyde kills Roberta because he desperately wants to be part of the upperclass. How different do you think the lives of the upper class and working classes were? Can you understand why Clyde was so desperate to escape his impoverished background?

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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