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 career has the narrator always wanted?

2. Who is the archivist in the library?

3. How many martinis has Alex had during the course of lunch?

4. What distinction does the narrator make between disasters in the city and in the rest of the country?

5. Who has the narrator told about his split with Amanda?

Short Essay Questions

1. What contrast is the author making between the people of New York City?

2. How are the narrator and Amanda using each other for escape?

3. What began Clara Tillinghast's dislike of the narrator?

4. Why is the narrator conflicted when he learns the French piece has already gone to the typesetters?

5. How do the narrator's inner identity and his outer persona conflict?

6. How is the narrator out of place in the sports bar?

7. Why does the narrator feel he is so different from the Hasidic Jews he encounters on the train?

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

9. What does the narrator hope for as he turns in an article that he knows is unfinished?

10. Why does the narrator strike up a conversation with Marianne, the archivist?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Vicky and Amanda.

1) What are some of Amanda's qualities? How do they mesh with the narrator's when the two first met?

2) What are some of Vicky's qualities? How are they a match or a mismatch for the narrator?

3) Which relationship is more promising for the narrator---a reconciliation with Amanda or new chapter with Vicky? Which woman is more appropriate for him?

Essay Topic 2

What is the main tension between aspects of the narrator's life? Provide at least three textual examples of the narrator's struggle with this tension. Is he able to resolve it by the end of the novel? If not, is there hope for him to resolve it in the future? Will the narrator ever be able to grow up?

Essay Topic 3

Do a character analysis of Megan Avery. Include:

1) Her family background.

2) Her medical history.

3) Her inclination toward the narrator.

4) Her dinner with the narrator.

How do all of these things add up? Why is she intent on taking the narrator under her wing?

(see the answer keys)

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