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 is the name of the bookshop owned by the narrator's friend?

2. What does the narrator say he spends nights thinking about the usefulness of in Chapter 7?

3. The narrator writes that the ferns are like those of the what Scripture in Chapter 5?

4. Who does the narrator quote from "Self Reliance" in Chapter 7?

5. In Chapter 20, Arthur Ma asks why did who keep a notebook?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who arrives in Chapter 5? How does Jack's perspective change after this visit?

2. After leaving Cody's house, where does the group decide to go and who do they meet up with?

3. How does the narrator feel about himself in the end of Chapter 1?

4. What is Jack's reaction to learning his cat has died?

5. In what ways does the narrator reflect upon the history of Big Sur in Chapter 7?

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

7. In Chapter 5, how does Jack's relationship to nature change?

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

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

10. What does Jack decide to do in Chapter 9? How does he go about leaving?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define the term "Roman a clef." Is this a style, genre, or form? Why is it used? How does it apply to Big Sur?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the theme of "faded glory" in Big Sur. How does this apply to the protagonist? What comparisons does the author use to express the theme?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the theme of "isolation" in Big Sur. How does this theme contrast that of "fame?" How do these juxtapositions create conflict in the hero?

(see the answer keys)

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