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. In John's house, which he has lived in since being a small boy, what is in the home that was the same from his childhood?

2. Why did John feel that he would be a minister?

3. Why did Boughton name his son Jack after John?

4. John writes to his son, saying, "One great benefit of a religious vocation is that it helps you ..."

5. How did John's father die?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Della's family situation.

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

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. How does John describe the responsibility that comes from encountering another person?

5. What is the nature of the discussion John and Jack have about predestination?

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

7. How does John describe being "imperishable"?

8. What is the content of the conversation that Jack and Lila have as John feigns being asleep?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the first section of the book, pages 1 - 8, discuss what expositional elements emerge. Identify and describe the thematic and narrative foundations found in this section and how these themes are carried through the rest of the novel. Select and describe what you think is the central theme of the book.

Essay Topic 2

Christianity and interpretations of the bible play an important role in the book's actions and themes. Discuss whether or not unfamiliarity with the bible is a handicap in understanding Gilead. Consider whether or not this is a "religious" book, and defend your answer. Discuss whether the book would appeal to or be a turn-off to someone with little or no interest in religion, and why.

Essay Topic 3

John is a pastor, as was his father and grandfather before him. The pastorate is obviously linked to the church, and more often than not, the church is identified with a building. Discuss how the church building is a metaphor of the limitations placed on the three generations of Ames men, and how the aging church building in the book is tied to the state we find John in.

(see the answer keys)

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