Bread Givers 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. Why does Reb refuse to become a Rabbi?

2. Why do Shenah and Reb argue at the end of Chapter 7?

3. Who does Sara see Mashah bargaining with when she arrives at her home to visit?

4. How many herring does Sara sell the first time she goes out peddling?

5. What is the name of Sara's older sister who only concerns herself with fashion and beauty?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Sara vow to marry an American-born man?

2. How does Bessie's personality change after she marries Zalmon the fish peddler?

3. How does Bessie react to the news that Berel Bernstein will not marry her?

4. Why does Reb not like the grocery business?

5. Why does Berel Bernstein decide to not marry Bessie?

6. For what reason does the man in the paper sell Reb his store for only four hundred dollars?

7. Why does Moe Mirsky continuously exchange Mashah's diamonds for different ones?

8. How do customers react when they are turned away by the Smolinksy family due to lack of stock in the store?

9. Why does Sara think herself in love with Morris Lipkin after he and Fania are no longer together?

10. Why does Father say that the prayers of his daughters go unheard by God?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Love and marriage are subjects often brought up in Bread Givers. All three of Sara's older sisters are married off to men they hardly know. Sara's parents barely knew each other before they were married. Write an essay exploring the idea of arranged marriage in the context of the story. Why do Bessie, Fania, and Mashah feel powerless over choosing who they marry? Why do match makers and prearranged marriages exist in the context of the story? Which of the characters refuses to get married to a man she doesn't love? Use examples from the book to support your opinions.

Essay Topic 2

The author draws great attention to Sara's need for a space which she can call her own. Early on, Sara is forced to live a cramped lifestyle with her family. As soon as she gets the chance after running away, she goes in search of a room of her own. Sara is insistent upon having a door she is able to shut. Much later after she has become a teacher, Sara finds a room that is large, airy, and bright. Write an essay explaining why having a special space or place to live is important to Sara. Why is having a door to shut so important to Sara? Other than having a door, what are other specifications she likes to have in an apartment? What sort of happiness does she receive from having a special place to live in? Be sure the provide examples to support your writing.

Essay Topic 3

The people of Hester Street are for the most part, lower class immigrated families. Throughout Bread Givers class is brought up by multiple characters. The members of the Smolinsky family are constantly trying to raise themselves above the poverty line. Write an essay detailing the efforts the members of the family make to rise above being lower class. How does Reb do his part for trying to become more than lower class? What types of people does he marry the family into? How does going to college help Sara rise above the line of poverty? Use examples from the book to support your writing.

(see the answer keys)

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