The Assistant 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 Louis ask Helen to do?

2. What does Ida suspect?

3. What book is Helen reading on the subway?

4. How long has Morris had the store?

5. What did doctors find in Morris' lungs?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you think the relevance of St. Francis is to the story?

2. How is business at the store around Christmas? What explanation does Ida give for this?

3. What does Frank want from Morris? What else might he be interested in?

4. What terrible things are revealed about Frank in this chapter?

5. What kind of a living does Morris make? What is ruining Morris' business?

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

7. How does Helen react to Nat's telephone call?

8. How does Frank feel about Helen?

9. How does Helen feel about Frank now?

10. How does Helen feel about her failed relationship with Nat Pearl?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on Jewish culture, tradition, and custom. Be sure to address:

1) What you feel it means to be Jewish.

2) Unique aspects of Jewish culture.

3) The contributions of the Jewish people to America.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on the life choices made by character in THE ASSISTANT. Be sure to address:

1) Themes and examples of regret and missed opportunities.

2) Examples of good and bad life choices made by characters in the novel.

3) The message you feel Bernard Malamud is communicating to readers regarding life choices.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the death of Morris Bober. Be sure to address:

1) Why you feel the author decided to 'kill off' Morris.

2) The message and meaning behind Morris' death.

3) The importance of the timing of Morris' death.

4) How Morris' death affected you personally as a reader.

(see the answer keys)

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