A Gathering of Old Men 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 is so important about the "Salt and Pepper" football duo?

2. Where does Chimley keep his number five shells?

3. Why do people call Sully T.V.?

4. Why doesn't Janey tell Miss Bea about the murder?

5. How is Yank dressed?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Miss Merle arrives with sandwiches, what does she do to show her disgust at the crowd of old black men?

2. What is the significance of Janey scolding Snookum to call Candy "Miss Candy" and Lou "Mr. Lou"?

3. What is the significance of Mat's full name?

4. Describe the racial makeup of the people in the courtroom. Why is this significant?

5. Who comes in from the kitchen and what is he doing there? Where is he all day?

6. How does Charlie finally prove that he is a man?

7. What is the ultimate goal of Reverend Jameson? Why is he at the scene?

8. What does Charlie do when the shoot-out begins? Why are Charlie's actions important to his character development?

9. Who is Tucker's brother and what is the battle that brigs man against machine?

10. After Gil meets with his coach, why does Gil look at Cal like he hates him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using the characters of Fix, Candy and Gil, put into perspective the concept of the past, present and future. Allow Fix to represent the past. Discuss his treatment of black people, as described in the story. Candy is the present. She is white, but is practically raised by Mathu, a black man, and Miss Merle, a white woman. How does this shape her story? What is her unique perspective of her world? Gil represents the future. His life looks very different from his father's. Why? What changes and shapes Gil's ideas about race? How do all of these characters change after the events in this story? What does the future look like to each character? How much do they each change?

Essay Topic 2

In his telling of the story, Lou talks about three important symbols. He does not comment one way or the other, but instead, gives the reader the opportunity to form their own opinions. Break into groups of three. Discuss the symbolism of the dust coming down the road. What does Lou Dimes want us to think about this? Discuss Mapes' attitudes towards his deputy? What does Lou want us to understand about Mapes from his interaction with his deputy? Discuss your thoughts about Corrine's faded dress and the faded bedspread used to cover Beau. Why does Lou report the color of the dress and the bedspread? What does this say to the reader? What does Lou mean for it to say?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the aftermath of the shoot-out and the trial. Do you think life is better or worse for black people in this community? Why? Is life different at all, or does everyone go back to the way it is? What signs do you see in the final chapter that indicate a change in the future of Gil, Candy, Lou, Mapes and all the old black men?

(see the answer keys)

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