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. In Chapter 10, Spenser tells Patty that he can put her in touch with the feminist writer, Rachel Wallace. Patty responds that feminist theory is all well and good on paper, but that it is not successful in reality. Spenser asks her what the term, successful means in the "real world"; and Patty's response is:

2. What new character is introduced in Chapter 6?

3. What is the setting of the first paragraph of Chapter 6?

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

5. What is the narrator hired to do in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. In Chapter 6 we are introduced to Spenser's girlfriend, Susan Silverman. What type of a person does she seem to be, and how does that contrast or compliment Spenser's personality?

5. Based on what we read in Chapter 2, what types of personal qualities would be necessary to handle Spenser's job? Why?

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

7. In Chapter 11, Spenser and Paul have a discussion about why Spenser did not shoot the intruders. What does Spenser tell Paul about his reluctance to shoot Buddy and Harold?

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

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

10. What type of person does Patty Giacomin seem to be?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mel and Patty have a complex relationship. They used to be in love, hence their marriage and Paul's birth. Somewhere along the way, that marriage disintegrated, leading to their separation and eventual divorce. Now their only purpose is to hurt each other in any way that they can, specifically to use Paul as the object to do that with.

Part 1) Explore the motivation that the two have to hurt each other the way that they do; why do you think that they do it?

Part 2) What effect has that relationship between his parents had on Paul?

Use specific examples from the text to support your answers.

Essay Topic 2

Spenser is not afraid to use physical force when he feels that it is necessary to accomplish his goal. However, he is very careful to use lethal force. Why do you think that is? Use specific examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

There is quite a bit of stereotyping used in "Early Autumn". A stereotype is the belief commonly held about certain social groups or types of individuals. For instance, the stereotypical private eye, or "gumshoe" is a tough guy who has a smart mouth, a smooth talker, and is quick-witted. He always gets the girls and drives a cool car. What are the ways that Spenser fits that stereotype? What are the ways that he does not fit into that stereotype? Use instances from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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