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. How did John get a great reputation for wisdom?

2. How did John's first wife die?

3. What biblical character does John compare Jack to?

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

5. What causes the death of many soldiers and others all across the country at the end of WWI?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe John's brother, Edward.

2. How does John recall Jack's baptism?

3. Describe the relationship Jack had with a lower-class, uneducated girl.

4. What does John believe about the soul in Paradise?

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

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

7. What is John's response to the possibility that there may be something approaching love between Lila and Jack?

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

9. How does John describe being "imperishable"?

10. What are some of John's reflections about Jack as a youth?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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