The Bonfire of the Vanities 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. In what state does Sherman find himself at the di Duccis event?

2. How many reporters have been assigned to corroborating Fallow's tip about Maria Ruskin?

3. Who regularly dines at the restaurant where Arthur Ruskin dies despite public statements against it?

4. Who brings the recording of Maria Ruskin's inadvertent confession to Tommy Killian?

5. How much money does Tommy Killian require for a retainer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which of Killian's promises are broken during his arrest?

2. What happens to the Lamb family at the end of the novel?

3. What happens to Sherman McCoy in the holding cell awaiting the calling of his case?

4. What story does the City Light run as a result of Fallow's meeting with Arthur Ruskin?

5. What does Fallow see at the funeral?

6. Describe the scene at the Criminal Court at the end of Chapter 31.

7. What information do Martin's two crack dealers offer regarding the McCoy case?

8. Why has no one heard of Roland Auburn even though he has been in the papers?

9. How does Sherman's opinion of his father change in Chapter 21 and why?

10. Why does Bernie disagree with Abe Weiss about the planned arrest of Sherman?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using the Epilogue as a frame, write an essay about the moral vacuum of Bonfire of the Vanities. Wolfe has created a world where the only way to survive is dogged self-interest and exploitation of others. Choose three characters whose fates are discussed in the epilogue and use their character arcs to show how honesty and high-mindedness does not pay off in the end.

Essay Topic 2

The Mayor of New York is the only recurring character in the novel without a name. Write an essay about the mayor as a symbol for the political, legal, and business system of New York. What does the mayor fear? What does he consider his failures and successes? How does he cope with forces he does not understand and cannot face?

Essay Topic 3

Lust for the flesh is the only inclination in Wolfe's novel that supersedes lust for money or power. Write an essay focusing on Sherman, Maria, and Kramer, analyzing how each makes foolish choices because of lust. How are both Sherman and Maria undone by unwise sexual decisions? How does Shelly Thomas become such an idol to Kramer?

(see the answer keys)

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