Gilead 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 causes the death of many soldiers and others all across the country at the end of WWI?

2. How did John break his finger when he was 22?

3. What was John's father's name?

4. According to John, why is a lawn sprinkler a magnificent invention?

5. What was John's mother's name?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does John describe being in the world at night?

2. What is the story John's father tells him about John Brown's mule?

3. How does John describe himself as a younger man?

4. Describe some of the events John and his father faced in their journey to Kansas.

5. What was Jack Boughton's first meeting with Lila like?

6. Why does John feel that his memories of fleeting incidents are so vivid to him?

7. What is the contrast between John's father and his grandfather's views on war?

8. What are the basic facts about John's first marriage?

9. Briefly recount the story John's grandfather and his friends used to tell about the citizens of a little abolitionist town.

10. Describe John's brother, Edward.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The constant referral to the relationship between fathers and sons permeates "Gilead." Consider these relationships: John's relationship to his own son; John's relationship to his father; John's father's relationship to his own father; and Tobias' relationship, however sketchy, to his father. Discuss each one of these relationships, looking for common traits, differing traits, and how each relationship contributes to the overall mosaic of the story.

Essay Topic 2

Compare John's relationship to his son to the relationship John had with his father. Discuss the similarities and differences. Was John sorry for the way he was brought up by his father? Does John have any regrets as to how he is bringing up his own son? Discuss.

Essay Topic 3

John preaches a sermon based on the story of Hagar and Ishmael. It is suggested that John's inner life is played out in his sermons. Evaluate the sermons presented in the novel as a whole and discuss other parallels between John's sermons and occurrences in his life.

(see the answer keys)

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