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. Why has Roberta come to the lake?

2. Where does Sparser flip the car?

3. How much money does Clyde make on his first task at the hotel?

4. What town did Roberta first find a job in?

5. How does Clyde get back at Roberta?

Short Essay Questions

1. How has Clyde reacted to killing Roberta?

2. Why does Mason ask for a special session of the grand jury?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why does the Governor grant Clyde a hearing?

10. What is Clyde's view of his relationship with Roberta?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

An American Tragedy is written in three parts. Examine the structure of the novel.

1) In what way dos the first part show the importance of a child's upbringing?

2) What are the main themes of the second part of the novel?

3) Why do you think Clyde's character does not genuinely seek redemption in the final part of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Using examples to support your argument discuss the following statement. Dreiser prose is pedestrian, uninspired and cliched.

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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