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 clings to Roberta and makes Clyde and Roberta's relationship difficult?

2. Who invites Clyde on a weekend outing?

3. What does Clyde hope will happen once Roberta gets rid of the baby?

4. How money does Clyde's mother ask from him per week?

5. Where does Clyde visit to stave off loneliness?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Griffith family.

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

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

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

5. How does Clyde try to appeal to his rich friends?

6. How does hotel life contradict what Clyde has previously been taught by his family?

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

8. Why does Clyde appeal to Sondra?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

An American Tragedy is what is known as the great American novel. What is meant by the term great American novel? Are there any conventions of a great American novel? What other great American novels are there? What ideas and conventions do they share with an American Tragedy?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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