The Assistant Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Morris do for the young girl? What does this tell you about his character?

A young girl enters the store and asks Morris if he can give her some store credit on behalf of her mother in order to buy food. Morris initially refuses but the girl bursts into tears. Morris gives her the credit, adding the amount to a running total written on the counter under the heading 'drunk woman.' He reduces the amount when he realizes that Ida would complain about it. Morris is a decent man at heart, and excuses his charity by telling himself that the peace he gets from forgiving the debt is worth the lost income.

2. How is business at the store?

Business is bad at the store. Morris had trouble waiting, because when business is bad, the time passes slowly and Morris feels ill at ease. Morris thinks about the times when business was good in the past, and it is made clear to the reader that these better times are long gone.

(read all 60 Short Essay Questions and Answers)

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