Brothers and Keepers: A Memoir 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 bothered John most about arguing with the white student?

2. Who does Jamila say Robby looks like?

3. When did Robby's robbery-murder take place?

4. What does John say he sees in himself by looking at the prisoners?

5. What does John say he feels about escaping to Wyoming?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does John characterize the waiting room?

2. How does John characterize Robby's temperament?

3. How are Jamila and Robby related in John's mind?

4. How does John characterize the drive to the penitentiary?

5. Who travels to the prison to visit Robby?

6. What kind of blackness was expected of John in college?

7. Describe John's visit with Robby.

8. How does John characterize the prisoners?

9. Why was Robby expelled from high school in 1968?

10. Why does John say it might have been a mistake to bring Robby home with him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the genre of Wideman's book about his brother? Analyze the text and make an argument. Is it a memoir? A piece of advocacy? Journalism? History? Literature? Novel? A biography? Is it dated by its material, or is it timeless?

Essay Topic 2

How does John characterize his brother? What literary techniques does he use to bring his brother to life as a literary character? How does his characterization change throughout the course of the memoir, as he writes one draft and then another? What does John learn about himself and his brother in the process of trying to capture this story in writing?

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast John and Robby's attitudes about money. How are they similar? How are they different? How did John change from the ghetto mentality about money to something else?

(see the answer keys)

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