Big Sur 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 Jack fear in the brush as he travels down the road in Chapter 3?

2. How many miles does the narrator have to hike in Chapter 10?

3. What is the name of the pet mule of the local settlers in the book?

4. Which real-life person is the character Irwin in the book?

5. What does the narrator envy of Montesanto's?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the cabin as isolated as it is? What activity takes Jack an entire day in Chapter 6?

2. What is the purpose of Jack's and Arthur Ma's conversation in Chapter 19?

3. What animal does Jack encounter in Chapter 4? How does he describe this and the landscape?

4. What is Jack's initial interaction with the animals around the cabin like in Chapter 18?

5. How do the protagonist's feelings of himself in Chapters 1 and 2 foreshadow that which occurs later in the novel?

6. What in Chapter 3 is an example of foreshadowing?

7. What do the descriptions in Chapter 3 relate about the protagonist?

8. What leads to the group going to the cabin in Chapter 17? Who goes?

9. What "sign" does Jack speak of in Chapter 10 and why?

10. What does Jack tell himself and thus do in the beginning of Chapter 3? What does the driver tell him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the imagery which the author uses in the final chapters of the novel as Jack descends into madness. What contrasts are used to express this?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the value of things in Jack's mind. How did the Beatnik ideals differ from those in mainstream society during this era? What is more important: a sink scourer or a nice suit?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the character of Cody Pomeray. How is this character viewed by all of the others in the novel? What are his feelings for Jack?

(see the answer keys)

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