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 does the narrator say Randy thinks he looks like in "The Last You'll Hear From Me"?

2. Why did Dawn of "Music for Lovers" have her feet amputated?

3. What point of view is "Parade" written in?

4. In "We Get Along", what does Evelyne encourage her son to do next time he sees Mrs. Spakey, his former teacher?

5. What word makes Chad's grandmother fall to her feet praying in "My Manuscript"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the narrator of "Parade"'s relationship with Bruce Springsteen (from his perspective).

3. What is the tone of the story "Parade"? How does the author create this tone?

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

5. In "Music for Lovers", why does the narrator often give his daughter stitches? What does he recommend when giving someone stitches?

6. What prompts Mr. Holt to send Chad to Mr. Chatam for guitar lessons in "My Manuscript"?

7. Describe The Sportsman in "We Get Along".

8. Describe Dawn's relationship with Rusty in "Music for Lovers".

9. How is Don's success in "Don's Story" ironic?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the recurrent topics in the collection of short stories "Barrel Fever" is family. Select three of the stories dealing with this topic and:

1) explain what the story says about family

2) demonstrate how the topic is developed in the story

Then explain what you think Sedaris' overall commentary on families is in the novel as a whole.

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

Essay Topic 2

Each of the stories in "Barrel Fever" has its own unique narrator. Select 4 of the stories and:

1) describe the narrator of each story,

2) discuss the role the narrator plays in the story, and

3) examine the ways the narrator influences how the reader experiences the story.

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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