English Creek 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. What section of the National Forest is still scarred from a fire in 1910, as described in Part 1?

2. In the evening after dinner with Pete, what does Jick read about in the local paper?

3. During the second night Jick and Stanley stay at the abandoned cabin, what does Jick do for the first time?

4. Who reveals to Jick, during the Fourth of July Picnic, that he knows Jick drank whiskey with Stanley?

5. What question does Jick ask Stanley, after the rodeo?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are eighteen of the sheep in the care of Canada Dan dead, and what work is Jick required to do as a result?

2. After reading a story in the local paper, why is Jick so interested in the details of a wagon trip his mother took with her family twenty-five years prior?

3. What philosophical advice does Lisabeth offer to Jick in Part 2, after he repeatedly questions her about events in the past?

4. Describe the special skills of Isodor.

5. How does the appearance of Velma affect Jick, when she arrives at the rodeo?

6. What announcement by Jick's brother, Alec, early in Part 1, shatters the McCaskill family?

7. After the rodeo, when Jick says the summer has left him feeling unsettled, how does Ray respond?

8. Briefly describe Jick's first experience with drinking whiskey.

9. Describe the condition of the Hebner place in 1939. Why is Jick's father depressed every time he sees it?

10. Briefly describe the main character of "English Creek," as portrayed early in the novel.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Lisabeth is concerned, throughout most of the novel, that Jick is obsessed with the past and not open to the future and its possibilities. What is the basis for her concern? How has she changed in this regard, in her eighties, as revealed in Part 4? What interaction with Jick in Part 4 reveals the extent to which Lisabeth has changed?

Essay Topic 2

Jick's coming of age in the summer of 1939 includes the rudiments of sexual awakening. Discuss his attitudes throughout the novel, involving Leona, Velma, Marcella, and his mother, with regard to his maturing attitudes toward girls and women.

Essay Topic 3

Why does Doig write Part 4 as an epilogue of sorts, wrapping up events and revealing the ultimate destinies of the people Jick cares about? What is the dramatic impact of this technique? Do the characters' destinies serve to reinforce the main theme or themes of the novel? Does the epilogue style fall flat, as compared to the rich, detailed narration and dialogue featured in Parts 1-3, or does the epilogue style create a satisfying end to the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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