The Bonfire of the Vanities 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 Sherman want to do when he meets with Tommy Killian?

2. Sherman McCoy privately refers to the overly thin women of these Park Avenue functions as "Social (blank)."

3. What has Campbell McCoy made out of clay in Chapter 13?

4. Where are Judy and Campbell when Sherman returns home in the evening?

5. Where does Annie Lamb think her son was headed when he was struck by a car?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Fallow falsify the source of his information regarding the Mercedes search?

2. In Chapter 13, what are Sherman's thoughts about telling Judy the truth?

3. What do Maria and Sherman ultimately decide to do regarding the Bronx car incident?

4. Describe Maria Ruskin.

5. What realities does Tommy Killian elucidate for Sherman?

6. Why do the McCoys rent a car to go to the Bavardages party?

7. Why is the Herbert 92X trial becoming overblown at the Bronx courthouse?

8. What is the Mayor's principle fear during his town hall in the Prologue?

9. How does Kramer's attempt to impress his liberal friends in Chapter 10 backfire?

10. How does Annie Lamb's situation make her cooperation with the police difficult?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Location is very important to the novel, because Tom Wolfe's is a segregated place, where entire borough's can go unexplored by large groups of people. Write an essay comparing the world of Manhattan with that of the Bronx. Cite descriptions by narrator and character and specific incidents that occur in the plot. What do these places mean to different groups of New Yorkers?

Essay Topic 2

Sherman McCoy, at the beginning of the novel, considers himself a "Master of the Universe." Write an essay about what that means in his life. How does it affect his attitude toward family? Fidelity? His work? What is Tom Wolfe saying about the nature of capitalism in the 1980s through the character of Sherman McCoy?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay comparing the character arcs of Sherman McCoy and Larry Kramer. Are the two men mirrors of each other in the novel? How do they both view their lives and the people who care about them? Does Kramer's resentment of the privileged WASP existence also indicate a desire to have that life?

(see the answer keys)

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