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. While wandering in Kansas, what does John's father tell him that he saw coming through the doors of his father's church?

2. When John met with the church trustees, what suggestions from him did they ignore?

3. When John and his father visited the graveyard, his father said, "I would never have thought this place could be ..."

4. In Gilead, what denomination attracted new people and young people after the Civil War?

5. What does John find Jack Boughton and his son doing when he comes home for lunch?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does John learn about his grandfather and his encounter with a Union soldier?

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

3. What is the significance behind the story of the farmer who was murdered with a bowie knife, and what does that have to do with John's grandfather?

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

5. Describe how John learned scripture.

6. How does John describe being "imperishable"?

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

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

9. How does John view Jack Boughton prior to his coming?

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

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

John's wife and son remained unnamed for the majority of the book. His wife's name is heard only from the mouth of Jack Boughton late in the novel. Discuss why Robinson chose not to reveal these names, taking into consideration John's relationship with his immediate family and how he views the two in his own 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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