Gilead Test | Final 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 theologian does John recommend to Jack to help him with the doctrinal question he raises?

2. In his sermon, what does the grandfather say is left in Gilead?

3. What does Jack call John's son?

4. Why does Jack tell John that he (Jack) lies a lot?

5. Jack tells John that during the Civil War, Iowa had a specific kind of regiment. According to the Tennessean who spoke to Jack, what kind of regiment was it?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the nature of the letters Edward is sending home to his father and brother.

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

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

5. How does John recall Boughton's parents?

6. What are two memories of pranks that John and Boughton share on Boughton's porch?

7. What is the nature of John and Jack's first discussion at the church?

8. John states that he doesn't forgive Jack, writing "I wouldn't know were to begin." What provokes this statement?

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

10. John writes an extensive contemplation of the Ten Commandments, focusing on the Fifth Commandment. What are some of his thoughts?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

"Gilead" has a structure like few other novels. Discuss why Robinson chose to not use chapters or other obvious breaks, how this adds or takes away from an understanding of the book, and how such a narrative propels the plot. Consider: Could "Gilead" have been improved by the inclusion of chapter breaks or other demarcations?

(see the answer keys)

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