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 does John say "you never quite get used to"?

2. What music is playing on the radio that causes John to want to dance?

3. When John was a boy, a farmer was murdered with what weapon?

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

5. What did John say he dreamed about after his visit to the graveyard?

Short Essay Questions

1. What moves John to tears during his conversation at the church with Jack?

2. What are John's thoughts upon hearing a waltz on the radio?

3. What are John's thoughts on the Lord's Supper? How does his son figure into this account?

4. How does John give Lila instruction prior to her baptism, and what is the nature of this instruction?

5. How does John describe being "imperishable"?

6. How does John explain death to people who ask what it is like?

7. How does John and other characters think that Boughton will respond to Jack's leaving?

8. Describe the moment of communion John experiences in the ruins of the burned-out church.

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

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the book, John's recollections influence his perceptions of the present. Describe three or four incidences of how events in John's past have colored his response to events happening in the present. And, conversely, events happening in the present cause him to reinterpret events of his past. Identify and discuss three or four of these accounts.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

C. S. Lewis wrote a partial autobiography, "Surprised by Joy," in 1955. This same concept, of being surprised by feelings of joy, elation, or even peace, is a common thread in "Gilead." Describe evidences in John's life that show that many times he was "surprised by joy," and how this gives understanding into both his character and how he responds to various situations in the book.

(see the answer keys)

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