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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 4, what does the passenger say about the narrator's profession?
2. In Chapter 11, one of the men says something about Spenser and guns. What is it?
3. What happens to the Giacomin house two days following the argument about the role of the modern women?
4. In what month does the story begin?
5. What new character is introduced in Chapter 6?
Short Essay Questions
1. In the scene where Paul arrives home, Patty is entertaining a male guest, Stephen Court. How does that scene make you feel?
2. In Chapter 12 we meet Hawk. What kind of a person does Hawk appear to be?
3. What type of person does Patty Giacomin seem to be?
4. If you were Spenser, what would you have done differently in Chapter 2?
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 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?
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. Based on what we read in Chapter 2, what types of personal qualities would be necessary to handle Spenser's job? Why?
9. When Paul arrives home, what is the reaction that mother and son both give and receive?
10. What does Spenser's preparation of the impromptu meal in Chapter 9 reveal about his character?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
If you were the author of "Early Autumn", what is one aspect of the story that you would change? Why would you change it? How would it affect the overall story?
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
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.
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