Cities of the Plain 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 warns John Grady to not spend much time with Mr. Johnson in Chapter 2?

2. What event does Mac talk about going on for too long after leaving the horse auction?

3. What war does the old man of the ranch discuss with John Grady during their first conversation?

4. Who tells a story about driving across the desert near the beginning of the book?

5. Which of the following men are not present at the whorehouse at the beginning of the book?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the cowboy's rivalry with a man called Wolfenbarger described in the book?

2. What happens when John Grady goes to a hotel at the beginning of Chapter 2?

3. How does John Grady come to secure a home for he and Magdalena?

4. How does the windshield of the truck Billy and Troy are traveling in get busted in Chapter 1?

5. What do we learn about Billy's experience with World War II near the beginning of the book?

6. How does Billy react when John Grady tells him he wishes to marry Magdalena?

7. What is the nature of John Grady and Magdalena's conversation at the White Lake bar in Chapter 2?

8. What is the nature of Billy's request from Eduardo the first time they meet?

9. How is the cowboy's dog hunt for mountain lions described in the book?

10. How does Magdalena tell John Grady she came to be a whore?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Death is one of the central themes discussed in the book. Part 1.) How does the author address the experience of one's spouse dying through characters like Mac and John Grady, and what purpose might he have for doing this? Part 2.) Why does John Grady willingly fight Eduardo to the death after Magdalena's murder, is this somehow an ironic response? Part 3.) What impact does death appear to have for Billy by the end of the book?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the portrayal of having conversations in the book. What important role does John Grady's conversations with others, especially Mr. Johnson, have in our ability to better define the nature of his character and what motivates him?

Essay Topic 3

The presence of God is found in many parts of the book and is discussed by several characters including John Grady, Magdalena and Eduardo. Part 1.) What role does God appear to play in Magdalena's mindset throughout the book, and what can we learn about the nature of her character based on her religious practices? Part 2.) What can we learn about Eduardo's true nature based on his and Magdalena's conversations regarding God and prayer? Part 3.) What might the author be saying about God based on the outcome for book's more religious characters like Magdalena, Eduardo and John Grady?

(see the answer keys)

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