Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays 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 is responsible for getting the narrator his job at the service station in "Firestone"?

2. Why was Don fired from his job at a cafeteria in "Don's Story"?

3. Why does the narrator begin cleaning bathrooms in "Firestone"?

4. Why is Taylor given many of the narrator's job duties in "Firestone"?

5. Where does Glen park while shopping at Food Carnival in "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the narrator's imaginary nightclub act in "Music for Lovers".

2. How does Chad conduct research for his book in "My Manuscript"?

3. Describe the narrator of "The Last You'll Hear From Me".

4. Describe Chad's father's childhood in "My Manuscript".

5. What does Glen dream about in "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter"? What does he tell Drew he dreamed about? Why?

6. In "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter", why is Drew having difficulty in his psychology class? What does Glen offer to do to help Drew?

7. What specific directions does the narrator of "The Last You'll Hear From Me" give Eileen for the dress she is to wear to the funeral?

8. Contrast the story Taylor tells about his child with the actual facts about his child in "Firestone".

9. Retell the story about the student priest that Mr. Holt tells Chad in "My Manuscript".

10. Describe the instances of "homophobia" that Glen believes he experiences after speaking with Drew on the phone in "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter".

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Several of the stories in this collection offer a commentary on relationships. Select three of the stories in which this commentary is developed and:

1) explain what the stories say about relationships,

2) demonstrate how the author develops this commentary in the story, and

3) respond to the author's commentary: Do you agree or disagree with him? Why?

Be sure to use specific examples from the stories to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

On the book jacket for "Barrel Fever" it is written "in David Sedaris' world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred." Select 3 of Sedaris' stories and:

1) discuss how the author's choice of subject demonstrates his irreverence, and

2) examine how the author "crosses the line" between civility and absurdity.

Be sure to use evidence from the stories to support your ideas.

Essay Topic 3

While David Sedaris' stories are often described as sharp and cutting, they also offer a level of empathy and kindness towards their characters. Select 2 of the stories where Sedaris shows empathy and discuss how he shows kindness towards his characters. Compare and contrast the ways kindness is shown in each of these stories. Be sure to use evidence from the stories to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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