Child of God 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 charge does the Sleeping Woman want to file against Ballard?

2. What is the sleeping woman wearing when Ballard finds her?

3. Why did the young Lester Ballard beat up the Finney boy?

4. What free gifts are being handed out at the auction?

5. How many rooms is Lester Ballard's new house?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the unnamed man in Chapter 5 (pp. 17-18) decide he does not like Lester Ballard?

2. Describe Lester's new home.

3. Why does Ballard abruptly leave the Dumpkeeper's house in Chapter 16?

4. How does Ballard win three prizes?

5. Describe the boxing match that happens at the end of this section.

6. How does the Sleeping Woman react to Ballard at the police station and what transpires?

7. How is Lester Ballard's neck injured?

8. How do people react to Ballard in the Six-Mile Church?

9. What statement does the Sheriff make to Ballard after he is released?

10. Describe the scene created by McCarthy at the beginning of the novel.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

By the end of the novel, Lester Ballard has accumulated a strange menagerie of items in his cave. Each has a particular meaning and function for him, and each reflects a sort of perversion of traditional values and relationships. Write a paragraph about each of these items, how they came into Ballard's possession, and what they mean thematically:

Part 1) The rifle

Part 2) The stuffed animals

Part 3) The women's clothes

Essay Topic 2

Do you think that Lester Ballard is an essentially evil man or simply a weak individual driven to extremity by hardship? Write an essay in three parts focusing on two instances in the novel that illustrate your position and one that refutes the opposite view. Be sure to focus on his crimes, childhood, and general mental state.

Essay Topic 3

In the opening passages of the book, McCarthy gives a description of Ballard as a soul. In the closing passages, he creates a portrait of Ballard as a body, vivisected into its component organ systems by doctors and students. Compare these two passages under the thesis of how McCarthy portrays Ballard throughout the novel. Is he creating a portrait that we are supposed to understand or a subject we are supposed to observe?

(see the answer keys)

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