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. Who is the tall man with the boot camp crew-cut and a navy watch cap who entered Patty's house?

2. What favor does Patty ask of Spenser in Chapter 5?

3. In Chapter 2, who is the narrator staking out and trying to find?

4. Where does the narrator follow the woman to in Chapter 3?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. In Chapter 8, Patty makes breakfast for herself and Spenser after Spenser drops Paul off at school. During breakfast the two of them get into a somewhat heated discussion about the roles of men and women in life, as well as their places in society. What are Patty's views on the topic as shown by that discussion?

4. Do you think that it was wise for Spenser to have entered Giacomin's house the way that he did?

5. What does the discussion that Patty and Spenser have in Chapter 8 reveal to the audience about Patty's real character?

6. In Chapter 10, Patty propositions Spenser, who politely rejects her advances. The two have a fairly lengthy discussion about the event, during which we learn more about Patty's feelings of self worth. What are those feelings?

7. What does Spenser's rescue plan for Patty and Paul along with its execution show us about yet another part of Spenser's personality?

8. By the beginning of Chapter 6, some time has passed since Spenser's case with the Giacomins; but, he really cannot stop thinking about the whole situation. It bothers him at a basketball game during a date with his girlfriend, Susan. What does this extended concern that Spenser shows for Paul and the discontent that Spenser feel for Patty and Mel show about Spenser's character?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Spenser is the protagonist (hero, good guy) of the story. He is a complex character with many personality aspects who makes some very tough decisions throughout the book. What makes Spenser the hero of the story, even though he makes some decisions which could be viewed as morally problematic? Use instances from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Paul Giacomin is at the heart of this story. He is the boy whose parents fight over him as if he were property; and the boy whom Spenser fights for in order to save his life. Explore Paul's character. Look through the text and use examples from it to support your ideas in relation to the kind of a person that Paul was before he met Spenser, and what kind of a person he was when he left Spenser to go to school.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the course of the book, Paul learns some less than savory facts about both of his parents. He seems to handle that information well, but sometimes it can be difficult to really understand what another person is going through just by the way they look or how they talk. Using the information about Paul that we know from the text, what do you think his feelings about his parents are after he finds out their "dirty laundry"? Use examples from the text to support your ideas.

(see the answer keys)

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