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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. Who is the narrator?
3. Besides the narrator, who else was evicted from the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston?
4. What did Paul say about his own father and cooking?
5. In Chapter 10, after Patty freshens up and returns to the breakfast table, she and Spenser have a discussion. What is that discussion about?
Short Essay Questions
1. What does Spenser's rescue plan for Patty and Paul along with its execution show us about yet another part of Spenser's personality?
2. What do Paul Giacomin's feelings for his parents appear to be?
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 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?
5. Why does Spenser not like the growing sense of intimacy that he describes in Chapter 10?
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. 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?
8. In Chapter 12 we meet Hawk. What kind of a person does Hawk appear to be?
9. 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?
10. What does the discussion that Patty and Spenser have in Chapter 8 reveal to the audience about Patty's real character?
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
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 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.
This section contains 1,833 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)