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 does Sparser say his job is?

2. Who does Clyde see whilst out shopping?

3. Where does Walter promise to take Clyde on Wednesday?

4. Where does Clyde find employment when he is 16?

5. Where is Hortense cut?

Short Essay Questions

1. How so the strict social rules affect Roberta?

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

3. How do the authorities react to Roberta's death?

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

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

6. Describe the death house.

7. Why does Clyde find it so difficult to provide for his family?

8. In what way have the defense created a strong case for Clyde's innocence?

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

10. Why does Heit get in contact with Orville Mason?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the characters from the novel.

1) What is the character's background?

2) What is the character's motivation and goals?

3) What do you think the character adds to the story? How would the story change if the character was taken away?

Essay Topic 3

An American Tragedy ends as it started with the Griffith family preaching on the streets with their young grandson Russell. What do you think will happen to Russell in the future? In what way can Mrs. Griffith stop Russell from turning out like Clyde? How important is a child's upbringing?

(see the answer keys)

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