I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
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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 does Bill find in the bottom of his refrigerator, a left over from his junk-food shopping with his wife?

2. What does Bryson think is sad about how things are changing in modern Vermont?

3. How much does Bryson say the government spends on fighting drugs?

4. According to Bryson, what is lacking in his New Hampshire town?

5. What does Bill hate about flying now that he is back in the U.S.?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "Coming Home" Bryson says he is "gamely assessing" the concept of not being able to go home again. What circumstances took him away from the United States in the 1970s? How did he spend the following two decades in England? What is his reaction on returning to the United States in 1996?

2. In "The War on Drugs," what examples does Bryson give to prove his belief about American drug laws being unfair?

3. In "Rule Number 1: Follow All Rules,"what does Bryson use as an example of a rule that must be followed in America? How does he compare the devotion to order in the U.S. and Britain?

4. In "The Numbers Game," Bryson expresses his amazement at the large numbers that are quoted by American government agencies. What does he say about the use of such large numbers?

5. Why does Bryson hate calling the computer helpline, as he outlines in "Help!"? How does he react to hotlines in general?

6. "Tales of the North Woods" tells the reader something about the wilder side of New Hampshire, Bryson's new home state. What information does he share with the reader about the wilderness of New Hampshire?

7. How does Bryson feel about gardening? What are his feelings concerning gardening with his mate in "Gardening With My Wife"?

8. In "Mail Call," what points does Bryson bring up to compare American post offices and British post offices? Why does he prefer American post offices?

9. How does Bryson compare late television in the U.S. to late time television in Britain in his "Drug Culture"? What does he say about the American approach to over-the-counter medicine from watching commercials for these products?

10. Bryson calls America "the ultimate shopping paradise" in "Consuming Pleasures." How does he support this statement?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the memoir, in the Introduction and Anecdote 1 "Coming Home," Bill Bryson explains how he came to write the anecdotes that comprise "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" and the process by which he relocated his family in the United States. Define the component of the literary element of plot known as "exposition." What purpose does it serve in writing? Give four examples of Bryson's use of exposition in the Introduction and in Anecdote 1 that enhance the memoir.

Essay Topic 2

Humor is an element of memoir writing that is often employed by authors. Why is it used? How can it enhance a memoir? What two types of humor does Bryson use in "I'm a Stranger Here Myself"? Give four examples of Bill Bryson's use of humor where you feel the pace and the theme of "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" has been enhanced by its use.

Essay Topic 3

What is satire? What is the point of satire and how should it be used? Give three examples of satirical writing that Bryson includes in his book.

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