Bless the Beasts and Children 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. As the Bedwetters walk through the wilderness, what is their only source of light?

2. What animal head acts as the trophy for Cotton's cabin?

3. While in the woods, what words of advice does Lally Two have for his fellow campers?

4. Which of Cotton's family members watches him die in his dream?

5. What do the Bedwetters eat for dinner during their quest away from camp?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Lally Two often act like an infant, and how did that affect his position within camp life?

2. What happened at the Petrified Forest on the day before Cotton had his alarming dream?

3. How did Teft save the boys from the abuse of their camp counselor, Wheatie?

4. Why aren't the boys arrested when they unexpectedly run into a police car while trying to steal a car?

5. How does Box Canyon Boys' Camp reward good behavior and hard work?

6. Why did the boys finally fall apart, threatening to quit the quest and return to camp?

7. What is "the bump"?

8. After relocating Lally Two, how does Cotton exhibit his leadership over the misfit boys, particularly in their decision to go forward with their "dangerous" plan?

9. What mode of transportation do The Bedwetters use to leave camp, and how do they feel about this method of escape?

10. How did Shecker first prompt the Bedwetters' rebellious behavior?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel, Swarthout uses the physicality of light and shadows to convey many things, including enlightenment. Choose two examples of times when light and shadows were present in the text and describe how these elements conveyed the emotions of the scenes. In your opinion, were these techniques successful in creating mood and tone? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

The landscape of Arizona acts almost as its own character in the novel. First, describe the Arizona landscape as it is represented in the novel? In what ways does the landscape affect the plot and themes of "Bless the Beasts and Children"? In your opinion, could this novel have taken place in any other setting? Why or why not? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, Swarthout frequently prints the lyrics for the iconic song "Home on the Range". First, describe what this song traditionally means in America, and what symbolism it has in the novel. Then, describe the effect of Swarthout's gradual distortion of the lyrics. When does he choose to distort the lyrics? What does this distortion symbolize? Be sure to include examples from the text to help strengthen your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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