The Electric Michelangelo Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Sarah Hall
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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. What does Cy hear through the window of the building he climbs?

2. What is an accurate description of the Ladies of Leeds?

3. What are Riley's rules of courtship?

4. Where do the summer crowds gather?

5. What does fine-line hatching do?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do many women come to Riley's tattoo parlor?

2. Describe the type of clients that are often drawn to Riley's tattoo parlor.

3. There are many instances of foreshadowing in this opening section. Name one and venture a guess as to what it could foreshadow.

4. Describe Cy's first interest in a girl and why it is disappointing.

5. What is the effect of alcohol on Riley?

6. What are some of the contrasting images seen in the very beginning of this book?

7. How does sex figure into Riley's tattoo business?

8. Describe Cy's first encounter with Riley.

9. How does Cy's mother Reeda respond to his possible apprenticeship with Riley?

10. How does Cy's apprenticeship fare and what is an important lesson Cy learns?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As the novel opens and then moves along to its conclusion, some characters seem to change more and some seem to stay the same. Choose one of the following and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Compare the character of Cy from who he seems to be during the first half of the book to the person he seems to be in the latter half. How is he alike? How different? Which "person" do you like the best? Why? How is Cy more alike and more different from Riley at the end then at the beginning?

2. Compare the character of Grace from who she seems when she is first introduced to how she seems after her hospital stay. How is she the same? How different? Which "person" do you like the best? Why? Has she changed more or less than Cy in the course of the novel?

3. Compare and contrast Riley, Claudia, and Reeda from who they seem to be when they are first introduced to who they are revealed to be by the end of the story. How much do they change or become who they really are? Or do they change? Who did you like at first and then dislike by the end of the story--and vice versa?

Essay Topic 2

The following idea is found in Part 1, "Bloodlights": Symbols from sports, the religion of the masses, along with hearts and flowers are easily understood, but women and fish intertwined are something entirely different. The association is primal and instinctual. Cy can draw dozens of mermaids in a variety of provocative, sultry, saucy poses. The smell, taste and slipperiness of the territory men worship between a woman's legs are transformed into images as aphrodisiac as oysters. The designs have been perfected over centuries, half woman, half cunt-fish and eternal sex. Choose one of the following and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Respond to the statement above and answer the following questions: What does this statement mean to you? Is it sexist? Does it portray women in a derogatory fashion? Or set them up on an unreachable pedestal? Compare and contrast the way you think a man would interpret the above statement versus a woman.

2. Trace the image of the mermaid throughout the text citing where it appears and analyze the context within the situation where it appears. How does the image of mermaids fit into the context of the book as a whole?

3. In Part 1, Salvaging Renaissance, Cy thinks to himself that he would like to court some of the customers, but he knows Riley's rules of courtship are to learn to slap, grip, fist and dog-mount them. How is that statement like and unlike the one mentioned at the beginning? What does each statement say about Cy as a man? About Riley as a man?

Essay Topic 3

The characters in Electric Michelangelo are the central focus of the novel; in other words, the characters drive the plot rather than the other way around as is the case in some novels. Choose one of the following questions and write a well-developed, cohesive essay using examples from the text and your research or personal experience:

1. Write an in-depth character analysis of Cy Parks. Include a physical description, personality traits, and what beliefs motivate him. What do you like and dislike about this character? Why? Give specific examples.

2. Write an in-depth character analysis of Grace. Include a physical description, personality traits, and what beliefs motivate her. What do you like and dislike about this character? Why? Give specific examples.

3. Choose three other characters besides Grace or Cy and write about them in relationship to both Grace and Cy. Are they friendly or hostile to either main character? Explain with examples. What is their purpose(s) in the story?

(see the answer keys)

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