Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays Test | Final 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 was Lena Payne in "The Curly Kind"?

2. What is the Magic Star in "Santaland Diaries"?

3. What color does the narrator paint the baby's nursery in "Jamboree"?

4. Who is Cassandra Lane in "After Malison"?

5. What does Malison name each of the characters in his second novel in "After Malison"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story does Sedaris tell the little boy Riley when he throws a temper tantrum in "Santaland Diaries"?

2. How does the author feel about adults who dress in costumes for their jobs in "Santaland Diaries"? How does he believe he will be different if he is hired as one of Santa's elves?

3. Who is Trudy Chase in "Barrel Fever"? How does the narrator react to a phone call from Trudy?

4. Describe the narrator's elf costume in "Santaland Diaries".

5. Describe "the Walrus" in "Santaland Diaries".

6. What are the two reasons the narrator gives for boycotting Malison's reading in "After Malison"?

7. Describe the scene in Macy's on Christmas Eve in "Santaland Diaries".

8. What theme joins the four scenarios in "The Curly Kind"?

9. Why is Jocelyn Dunbar suspected of murdering Don and framing Khe Sahn in "Season's Greetings..."?

10. What does the narrator do to Marty's motorcycle in "Jamboree"? Who does Marty believe is responsible for the damages?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Look at the ordering of the stories in the collection and write an essay:

1) describing the progression of stories in the collection, and

2) explaining why you think the author chose to order the stories in this way.

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

Essay Topic 2

Popular culture plays a huge role in the stories in "Barrel Fever" Select three of the stories that feature popular culture and:

1) describe how the story uses popular culture,

2) discuss how the presence of popular culture in the story influences the reader's experience of the story, and

3) analyze why the author uses each example of popular culture in the story.

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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