I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away Test | Final 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 Mrs. Bryson tell her husband about Maggie that cheers him up?

2. Which decade saw the idea of the drive-in really take off?

3. How much energy does Bryson say the average American uses compared to the average European?

4. In "The Great Indoors," what does Bryson say people in America have developed a dislike of?

5. Which American tourist attraction does Bryson describe as a "Total Indoor Environment"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Bryson titled "The Waste Generation". Give three examples of why he thinks the generation of Americans in the 1990s is a wasteful one.

2. "Your Tax Form Explained", what does Bryson satirize? Give three examples of how he does this.

3. In "Enough Already," Bryson says there is just too much of everything in America (except time, money, good plumbers, and polite people). What examples does he give to back this up? Why does he think it is not a good thing?

4. In "The Wasteland," what is Bryson criticizing? Name three points of his criticism.

5. Bryson looks at obesity in "The Fat of the Land." Name three statistics he mentions in relation to obesity.

6. In "On Losing a Son," what does Bryson say his main activities are as a father sending his son off to college?

7. In "Hail to the Chief," Bryson looks at the American holiday of Presidents Day. Give three points about the day that Bryson mentions.

8. Find three examples from "The Great Indoors" that Bryson cites as reasons he thinks Americans spend too much time indoors.

9. In "So Sue Me," what does Bryson say about American lawyers?

10. "The Myteries of Christmas" compares American Christmases and English Christmases. How does Bryson compare the two holidays?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define what is meant by "style" in writing. Discuss what kind of style is used in traditional nonfiction, creative nonfiction, and novels. Which style was used in the writing of "I'm a Stranger Here Myself"? Support your answer with four examples.

Essay Topic 2

To make memoir writing authentic, the author's personal presence must exist. Give five examples where Bill Bryson's personal presence is apparent. Choose two of the examples, and explain why you think he chose to make it so.

Essay Topic 3

State the theme of "I'm a Stranger Here Myself." How is the theme of the story reflected in the conflicts and challenges Bill Bryson experiences when he returns to America? Discuss four examples from the narrative.

(see the answer keys)

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