Dreams of My Russian Summers 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. Upon what does Albertine depend?

2. Whose visit to France does Charlotte describe to the narrator?

3. Who does the narrator curse at a dinner party?

4. How does Charlotte receive table scraps?

5. What seems exquisite to the narrator and his sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the narrator allowed to do when he is 14?

2. What does the narrator say about what makes French women alluring in photographs?

3. What happens after the children are put to bed?

4. Where does Albertine retreat?

5. What does the narrator say his grandmother does when the narrator looks at the photo of the scruffy woman?

6. What happens after the death of Norbert?

7. What is one of the childhood memories of Charlotte's that has left an impact on the narrator?

8. Where does the narrator go for the summer and what is a tale she relates to the narrator on his first night there?

9. How does Albertine surprise Charlotte one day and what is left behind?

10. What happens when Charlotte meets up with a soldier while she is on her way to Boyarsk?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think "Dreams of My Russian Summers" is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Dreams of My Russian Summers'. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Makine chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Makine chooses the metaphors he does?

3. Discuss Makine's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc.), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Alexie use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 3

The narration creates a sense of mystery, engaging the reader in the narrator's quest for truth. In this case, there are two different truths - what happened to Charlotte, and where does the narrator fit?

1. Explain what you think the above statements mean. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Using just the text from the first chapter, argue whether the search for who is Charlotte is the most important aspect of the story or the problems of who the narrator is.

3. Explain what about the sense of mystery in the first chapter goaded you to continue reading the book. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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