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 2, who is the narrator staking out and trying to find?

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

3. In what month does the story begin?

4. 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:

5. What is Patty's reasoning for being married?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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 33, what does Paul's decision about going to school reveal about the person whom he has become?

4. What is the dualistic reasoning for the trip to New York in Chapter 29?

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

7. Is Spenser's evaluation of Susan's attitude in Chapter 23 an accurate one? Why? Why not?

8. Does Susan make a good point about parental rights in Chapter 23? Why? Why not?

9. Spenser decides to tell Paul the truth about his mother's monthly trips to New York. Although they are not illegal, they appear to be immoral. How does Paul feel about learning that type of information about his mother?

10. Why does Paul agree to help Spenser "put the screws" to his father?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Another major theme of this story is that of personal responsibility. Explore the idea of personal responsibility as it relates to each major character (Spenser, Susan, Patty, Mel, and Paul). How does each character feel about personal responsibility? How do they demonstrate those beliefs? Use instances from the text to support your answers.

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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