Ironweed Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

William Kennedy
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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. Where does Helen sleep after she and Francis leave Jack and Clara’s?

2. What does Francis say about anything that “draws blood or breaks heads”?

3. What does the narrator say Rudy is aware of as Francis approaches Gerald’s grave?

4. What does Francis say to Rudy when Rudy says that he ain’t dead yet?

5. What is Francis Phelan’s father’s reaction to Francis’ arrival?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the relationship between Francis and Rudy.

2. What is Rowdy Dick Doolan’s role in Francis’ story?

3. Describe Francis’ baseball career.

4. Describe the brotherhood Francis and Rudy share.

5. Describe the environment of the Gilded Cage.

6. What misfortune besets Helen after she returns to the Mission with Francis and Rudy?

7. How did Francis end up killing Harold Allen?

8. How did Francis end up with a job shoveling dirt at the cemetery?

9. What expression does Francis use when something is finally and absolutely concluded?

10. What kinship does Francis have with the Phelan brothers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Who is the audience for Ironweed? What is the ideal reader for Ironweed likely to think about the book’s main topics? How does this book try to affect the reader? What is it trying to teach him or her, or get him or her to do?

Essay Topic 2

Debate the proposition that Francis has redeemed his flight from home and family by turning flight into a philosophy.

Essay Topic 3

What is the role of the city of Albany in Ironweed? Is it an essentially American place that symbolizes the American experience, or is it a personal place whose significance is limited to the author and the particular characters he created?

(see the answer keys)

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