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 what month does the story begin?

2. What new character is introduced in Chapter 6?

3. In Chapter 8, when Patty and Spenser are talking at the breakfast table, what conclusion does Spenser come to about Patty, Mel, and Paul's relationship?

4. Who is Elaine Brooks?

5. In Chapter 10, what does Patty do in response to Paul's comments about her thoughts on the reality of modern women?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. 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?

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

5. 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?

6. In the scene where Paul arrives home, Patty is entertaining a male guest, Stephen Court. How does that scene make you feel?

7. 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?

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

9. If you were Spenser, what would you have done differently in Chapter 2?

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 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 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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