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. What does Don do to Mrs. Toni when she ridicules his dreams of stardom in "Don's Story"?

2. What type of transplant is Carlton waiting for in "Firestone"?

3. In "We Get Along", why is Evelyne obsessed with the initials W.S.?

4. In "We Get Along", what does the narrator's mother do the night after her husband's funeral?

5. How did a piece of tissue become stuck in the narrator's ear in "Music for Lovers"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Chad's relationship with Terry Glassman in "My Manuscript"?

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

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

5. Describe Margery in "We Get Along".

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

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

8. How does the narrator of "Parade" describe Patrick Buchanan?

9. What is the genre of "Don's Story"? How is it a "spoof" on an actual piece in this genre?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

One of the themes in the collection of short stories "Barrel Fever" is that of reality versus fantasy. Select three of the stories dealing with this theme and:

1) explain what the story says about reality and fantasy, and

2) demonstrate how the theme is developed in the story.

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

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

Essay Topic 3

In "Barrel Fever", David Sedaris offers a variety of wacky minor characters for the reader to enjoy. Select two of the following characters and compare and contrast them in an essay:

1) Taylor in "Firestone"

2) Aunt Margery in "We Get Along"

3) Marty in "Jamboree"

4) Gill in "Barrel Fever"

(see the answer keys)

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