Bright Lights, Big City 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 scent does the narrator catch on Bleecker street?

2. What kind of cigarettes does Dolly smoke?

3. How do the narrator's coworkers react after his deadline is changed?

4. What animal does the narrator compare to Amanda?

5. In which department would the narrator rather be working?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Amanda's home life like when she met the narrator?

2. Why does the narrator have trouble being in his apartment?

3. To whom is the narrator speaking at the beginning of the story?

4. How is the narrator's love of fiction detrimental to his development as an adult?

5. Why does the narrator seem surprised by his situation?

6. What point of view does the author write in, and how is it distinguished?

7. What is the significance of the last three images in the chapter: the Colgate sign, the Statue of Liberty, and the garbage barge?

8. Why, after all the time that has passed, is the narrator still trying to track Amanda down?

9. What is worrying the narrator as he begins work on the French article?

10. Does the narrator enjoy his work in the Department of Factual Verification? Why or why not?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Though brothers, the narrator and Michael are very different people. Compare and contrast Michael and the narrator, focusing specifically on their careers and stations in life. Why are they resentful toward one another? Why has Michael come to New York? Why has the narrator stayed away from home?

Essay Topic 2

The narrator and Amanda were obviously mismatched.

1) How is the narrator's love of fiction detrimental to his relationship with Amanda?

2) What fantasies do the narrator and Amanda make of each other?

3) Though Amanda is portrayed as the shallower character, she is the one to end their fantasy. What does this imply about Amanda?

Essay Topic 3

Each chapter of the book has a distinct, often witty and ironic, title. Choose three titles and discuss their relevance to the chapter of the book. Be sure to use quotations, as the chapter's title is often repeated in different instances in the chapter. Take into account the novel's title--how is the theme "Bright Lights, Big City" repeated throughout the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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