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 Clyde say when Rita admits she loves him?

3. What is the name of Roberta's sister's husband?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think drives Clyde to pursue Sondra and ignore Roberta?

2. What are Clyde's main worries?

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

4. Why does Clyde think Jephson is his last hope?

5. Describe the death house.

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

7. In what way does poverty benefit the prosecutions case?

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

9. Why does Gilbert not like Clyde?

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

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

Roberta tries and fails to get an abortion, partly because society sees abortion as immoral. What are your views on abortion? Why do you think society has become more accepting of abortion?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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