Crash 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 kind of business has Catherine started up with one of her boyfriends?

2. According to Ballard, what happens on the fourth day in the hospital "for no evident reason"?

3. What is Vaughan's scientific subject?

4. What verdict is given at the coroner's inquest of Ballard's crash with Helen and her husband?

5. When Ballard tells Catherine that she should have gone to the funeral for Helen's husband, how does she respond?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Ballard recognize Dr. Robert Vaughan when he sees him with the camera in the parking garage and why is it significant?

2. What kind of car does Ballard buy after his accident and what does it signify?

3. What are Ballard's injuries from his crash with the man and his wife and how does he respond to them?

4. How does Ballard regard his accident and why is it significant?

5. Why doesn't Catherine attend the funeral for Dr. Helen Remington's husband and what does it show about her character?

6. What does the prostitute Ballard hires share in common with his wife and his lover and what do they show about Ballard's character?

7. What dominates Ballard's thoughts as he recovers in the hospital and why is it significant?

8. What is the point of view in "Crash"?

9. What kind of pleasure did Vaughan derive from car crashes and how is it significant?

10. Who is Elizabeth Taylor and what role does she play in the novel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare Vaughan and Ballard as characters. Define their major character traits and discuss their similarities and differences. What is the nature of their relationship? Is Vaughan or Ballard the hero of the novel? Give examples of each character to help support your statements.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the novel, sexuality is used as a means of both coercion and empowerment. Give two to three examples to support your statements.

1) Discuss the overall theme of sexuality as it pertains to identity in the novel.

2) Choose one character and discuss her/his sexuality as it evolves in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Ballard details the urban landscape throughout the novel, from the car impound to the airport flyover, the abandoned lot to the parking garage. Choose 2 urban landscapes and discuss their purpose in the novel. What do they represent for the characters? How do the characters respond to these landscapes?

(see the answer keys)

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