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. When John would come home and his grandfather was in the house in the midst of a vision, what would his mother tell him?

2. What relieved Lila when she found out ________________ was not the same as work on Sundays?

3. When John's father sees his grandfather after his encounter with the Union soldier, what is the grandfather carrying under his arm?

4. What does John tell his son he regrets?

5. What kind of flowers does John's son and wife bring him?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was the nature of the meeting John had with the church trustees regarding the church building?

4. What three things does seeing Jack playing catch with John's son remind him of?

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

6. Describe how John learned scripture.

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

8. Describe the preaching John's grandfather did after coming back from the war, and how it affected his listeners.

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

The author uses dialogue as a narrative technique very rarely. Discuss the author's possible reasons for using dialogue in this fashion, and why it is employed in the parts of the story it is.

Essay Topic 3

In the section encompassing pages 86 - 104, an image of communion is presented, as it is throughout the novel. Consider the significance of this ritual outside the walls of a church. Discuss what the implication of this event is, especially in light of the theme of the relationship between fathers and sons outside the realm of religion. Factor in, too, the relationship between John and Jack.

(see the answer keys)

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