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. What does Roland say about the picture of Sherman and Judy the Detectives show him?

2. In what state does Sherman find himself at the di Duccis event?

3. That is the topic of Arthur Ruskin's story in Chapter 144?

4. What gesture did Sherman make to Judy before going to work in his first days at Pierce and PIerce?

5. What does Sherman McCoy do in the courtroom at the end of the Epilogue?

Short Essay Questions

1. What simple domestic act does Sherman attempt the morning after his arrest, and what happens?

2. How is Sherman's experience at the di Ducci event different from his experience at the Bavardages'?

3. How does Larry Kramer characterize Roland Auburn in Chapter 19?

4. Describe the story that Arthur Ruskin tells Peter Fallow at dinner.

5. What promise does Tommy Killian make to Sherman regarding his condo?

6. What does Sherman tell Judy about his relationship with Maria?

7. What promises does Tommy Killian make Sherman McCoy regarding his arrest?

8. How does the information of Maria Ruskin's complicity in the hit-and-run eventually reach Peter Fallow?

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

10. As Kramer is interviewing Maria Ruskin, what does he realize he loves about his job?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Tom Wolfe's New York is a den of tigers, comprised largely of ambitious and venal men willing to exploit any angle to accumulate and keep power. Write an essay on the power-brokers of Bonfire of the Vanities:

Part 1) Abe Weiss is a subtly racist politician in a city of minorities. What does he do over the course of the novel to appease his minority constituents? How does he aggrandize himself in doing this? What is his aim?

Part 2) Reverend Bacon is a classic pious charlatan. What does he preach to his constituents and his opponents? What are his true designs in preaching this message?

Part 3) Larry Kramer likes to imagine himself as a savvy player in corrupt system and a defender of the common man. What does he want for his good works? What does he consider his prize for this?

(see the answer keys)

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