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. Why was Bryson unhappy about a flight he and his family took from Minneapolis?

2. What house feature does Bryson miss from his childhood?

3. According to Bryson, when was the first official Thanksgiving held in the United States?

4. How was the first "drive-in" movie shown in New Jersey in the 1930's?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. In "Shopping Madness," Bryson says there is a discipline called "retail anthropology." What is it ? What are some of the things it studies?

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

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 "Deck the Halls," Bryson tells his readers that he is not looking forward to Christmas decorating. Why is this?

5. In "Life's Mysteries," Bryson lists a very large number of things that he doesn't understand. What are four of these things?

6. In "In Praise of Diners," Bryson talks about an old American institution that has almost disappeared, the diner restaurant. List at least three things he tells the readers about diners.

7. In "Lost in Cyberland," what kind of adventures does Bryson have with technology in America?

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

9. In "Ah, Summer!" what does Bryson say he likes about summers in New Hampshire? How does he compare them to summers in Iowa?

10. "The Best American Holiday," Bryson explains why he loves Thanksgiving so much. List three things that he enthuses about the holiday.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Tone refers to the attitude of the narrator in a work. As the narrator of "I'm a Stranger Here Myself," what is the author's tone at different stages of the book? Explain the tone by using examples from the following events:

1) When Bryson first returns to America.

2) When he is frustrated with some of the challenges he faces in America.

3) When his son goes off to college.

4) When he is celebrating holidays in the United States.

Essay Topic 3

Conflict is a common element of writing, in both fiction and nonfiction. Why is conflict so often used in narratives? How can it help add interest to a narrative? Give four examples where conflict in "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" occurs and how it helps explain the dynamics of Bill's return and his reactions to the United States.

(see the answer keys)

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