Early Autumn 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 habit does the passenger have that drives the narrator absolutely crazy during their car ride in Chapter 4?

2. What does Patty want Spenser to do in Chapter 7?

3. What did the narrator accomplish by visiting the woman in Chapter 2?

4. In Chapter 10, Spenser says that he did not mind Patty's idea of fancy cooking; but that there was something that he did mind. What was it?

5. After solving the kidnapping case, when does Spenser hear from Patty again?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Spenser not like the growing sense of intimacy that he describes in Chapter 10?

2. How does Spenser diffuse the situation between himself, Buddy, and Harold in Chapter 11?

3. What type of person does Mel Giacomin appear to be?

4. In Chapter 9, Spenser makes an impromptu dinner for himself and Paul. At the dinner table, Paul seems surprised that Spenser can cook. The discussion that follows allows the reader to learn more about Paul and his relationship with the world around him. What did you learn about Paul and how he relates to the world around him?

5. In April, after Mel's thugs try to kidnap Paul, Patty Giacomin calls Spenser for help once again. This time, she asks Spenser to protect her and Paul. Why does Patty desperately call Spenser when she experiences trouble with her ex-husband in relation to her son?

6. What type of person does Paul Giacomin appear to be?

7. When Paul arrives home, what is the reaction that mother and son both give and receive?

8. Spenser reluctantly takes the job of protecting Patty and Paul from Mel and his thugs. What reservations does Spenser have about taking the job, and why does he take it?

9. What type of person does the narrator seem to be?

10. What does Spenser's preparation of the impromptu meal in Chapter 9 reveal about his character?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Spenser feels that in order for Paul to be autonomous, he must learn to work with his hands and have structure and order in his life. To illustrate this, Spenser adheres to a routine of physical exercise and construction on the cabin mixed in with new experiences like going to museums and listening to baseball games on the radio. Do you agree with Spenser that such activities and lessons as these (and the others described in the book) are important to Paul's becoming autonomous? Why? Why not? Use the text to support your answers.

Essay Topic 2

As the book progresses, we learn that Spenser has a very sensitive and thoughtful side. He has some very deep thoughts on life and the way that it should be lived, including personal boundaries and living with yourself if you have to cross those boundaries. Use the text to explore those thoughts in greater detail.

Part 1) Why do you think that Spenser has those ideas?

Part 2) Why do you think that Spenser feels that it is important for Paul to understand such ideals?

Part 3) Do you agree with his ideals? Why? Why not?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the major characters in this book (Spenser, Susan, Patty, Mel, or Paul). Choose one specific situation out of the book and explain what and how you would have changed it. For instance, if you choose Patty in Chapter 1 where she hires Spenser, what would you change about that situation? Would you hire a private investigator as she did, or would you perhaps go to the police, to try to solve the problem yourself? Use instances from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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