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. Who is Zalmon?

2. What insult does Reb call Sara when she tells him that she is American?

3. Who slaps Sara at the end of Chapter 8?

4. How old is Sara in Chapter 8?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What excuse does Bessie use in her defense when her mother comes into the house and sees the changes she makes?

2. How does Reb react when he finds out how Morris Lipkin makes his living?

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

4. Why is Reb so angry with Sara at the end of Chapter 8?

5. Why does Bessie quietly agree to marry Zalmon despite the fact that she is repulsed by him?

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

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

8. Why does Father get arrested and sent to court?

9. What happens to Sara when she cleans her apartment in Chapter 10?

10. How does Sara see Moe treating Mashah when she visits them after running away from home?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

All of the members of the Smolinsky family are close because of their living conditions early on in the story. Family ties exist throughout the novel and are made example of in certain situations. Write an essay exploring the idea of family ties. How are they important in Bread Givers? Which characters attempt to break their ties with the family? How do they try and break them? Why? Explain your rationale by providing examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Hugo Seelig is different from many of the men Sara meets in Bread Givers. He is intelligent, understanding, and kind. He also values Sara's education and profession when others do not. Write an essay explaining the things that make Hugo Seelig so special. Why is Sara so drawn to him when she meets him? How does he help her out? How is he different from other males in the story? In what way does being a principal strengthen his character and give him values other characters lack? Explain your rationale by providing examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Happiness the something rarely experienced by the characters in Bread Givers. Often times, the world is harsh and there is little cause for celebration. Write an essay exploring the reasons behind the lack of happiness and satisfaction in the character's lives. What are the most major reasons for a lack of happiness in Sara's life? What about Reb and Shenah's life? What about the marriages Bessie, Fania, and Mashah have make them unhappy? Why? Explain your rationale by providing examples from the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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