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 Candy's parents die?

2. What kind of a cap is Chimley wearing?

3. What does Clatoo do with the shoe box?

4. When does Chimley not mind being called by his nickname?

5. How does Mapes, the sheriff, prove that Uncle Billy does not shoot Beau?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Candy tell all the old black men to shoot their guns once?

4. Why does Miss Merle slap Janey and why does Janey stand there and take it?

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

6. What is happening to the black graveyards?

7. Why does each old black man claim responsibility for the murder of Beau?

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

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

10. What does Gil's coach want to tell Gill? Why aren't Cal and Sully in this meeting?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The character of Jack Marshall is introduced at the beginning of the book. He is drunk asleep on the porch swing. His character returns later at Tee Jack's store/bar. What does the character of Jack Marshall add to the story? Of what is he a symbol? How is the story different without him?

Essay Topic 2

Each chapter is narrated by a different person, but the author chooses not to use certain characters to tell the story. Candy, Mapes, Gil, Mathu and Fix do not share their viewpoint of the story, even though they are major characters. Why do you think the author chooses not to use these characters as storytellers? Each of these characters have strong viewpoints about the events of the day. Each of these characters influence events of the day. How is your opinion of these characters different if they are narrating their own chapters? How does this change the story?

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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