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 is the name of the old Polish woman's dog?

2. How much money in sales did Ida take in while Morris slept?

3. What month is it at the beginning of the novel?

4. What improper thing does Frank do at the end of the chapter?

5. What does Frank give Helen as a gift?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is business at the store improving? Why?

3. What traumatic event caused a change in Morris' habits?

4. How does Helen feel about Frank now?

5. Why does Ida resent Morris and their current situation? What responsibility does she have for the state of their lives?

6. How is business at the store?

7. According to Morris, what does it mean to be Jewish?

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

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

10. Describe the relationship between the old woman and the Bobers.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay that critically reviews THE ASSISTANT by Bernard Malamud, in a formal book review style. Be sure to address:

1) Major themes of the novel and how well they are communicated to readers.

2) Your opinion on the writing style used by the author.

3) The universal importance of the book's subject matter.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay on the character and morality of Frank Alpine. Be sure to address:

1) Whether you feel Frank Alpine is a moral or immoral character, with evidence from the text.

2) Turning points in the character growth of Frank Alpine.

3) Whether or not you would want Frank Alpine as a friend, and why.

(see the answer keys)

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