Ironweed Test | Final 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. In Chapter 6, how does the narrator characterize Francis’ emotions when he arrives at Annie’s house?

2. How much does Francis take in pay from Rosskam?

3. What does the narrator say the clouds resemble, when Francis is standing in the junkyard doorway?

4. How does the narrator characterize the effect of Francis handling things from his previous life?

5. What does Francis say kept him sane?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Francis’ mother’s relationship with Katrina Daugherty like?

2. How is Helen’s death different from other deaths in Ironweed?

3. What peace does Francis establish with the ghosts who have been following him?

4. How does the narrative change in Chapter 5?

5. Describe Annie’s greeting when Francis arrives at her house.

6. What prompts Francis to get down from Rosskam’s wagon and quit for the day?

7. What memories does Rosskam’s sex talk evoke for Francis?

8. How does Francis describe having met Helen when he was younger?

9. Who was Katrina Daugherty and what was her role in Francis’ life?

10. Describe Rosskam and his environment.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is Francis a hero or an anti-hero? Where does Francis fit in the continuum of other characters in literature? Compare and contrast Francis’ character with two other main characters in American literature.

Essay Topic 2

What is missing from this book? What should have been covered or presented that was not? What is the effect of this absence? Describe an element that ought to have been covered, and explain why it would have made the book stronger.

Essay Topic 3

The American novel is typically centered on a character who believes in a fundamental innocence, and goes into the world to have experiences and find him or herself—but Ironweed is centered on Francis’ guilt over any number of things. How does Ironweed fit in the American canon?

(see the answer keys)

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