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. How do the women react to what Mapes does to Uncle Billy?

2. Who tells Mat and Chimley that there is a murder?

3. Where does Chimley keep his number five shells?

4. What does the coroner demand from Mapes?

5. Who arrives at the end of chapter seven?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Gil torn between love for his family and sadness over their past actions?

2. Describe the final moments of the shoot-out.

3. How is Gil welcome by the people gathering at his father's house and why is he welcomed in this manor?

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

5. Why is it important that this chapter is narrated by a child?

6. Why does Mapes slap the old black men and what does it mean? When everybody lines up to be hit by Mapes, what happens?

7. Why does Mapes respect Mathu?

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

9. After hearing of the murder, why do Mat and Chimley wait before they take action?

10. What color is the dress Corrine wears and the color of the bedspread she uses to cover the body? Why is this important?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the symbolism of the roads. The characters are always looking up or down the road for someone to arrive. The dust following a car is mentioned. The cane fields on the sides of the road are discussed. The group of old black men walk on a long road. Lou Dimes tells the reader how many miles he drives to get to Mathu's house.

Essay Topic 2

What is the reason for the character of Miss Bea? She is only in one chapter, but she introduces a very important plot point into the story. What is it? Why is it important for one of the owners of the plantation to talk about this point?

Essay Topic 3

Miss Merle is waiting for a decade for the Major to notice her. She has her servant, Lucy, bake the Major a pie. These are two examples of how Miss Merle views her world. Give other examples of Miss Merle's behavior that indicates that she is old-fashioned and comfortable with the old ways of doing things. Discuss when Miss Merle shows her anger and fear at how the events of the day changes her world.

(see the answer keys)

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