July's People Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 is Martha particularly concerned about regarding July's situation with the Smalls in Section 2?

2. What is happening politically, economically, and socially in the novel?

3. Why does July’s family have difficulty understanding why the Smalls wouldn't just fly overseas?

4. What does Bam help July build in Section 3?

5. Who takes the bakke in Section 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Section 2, what does July try to explain to his family about the Smalls?

2. What does Maureen mean when she says “death is a purchase” (pg 65)?

3. Explain Martha and July's mother's reaction to meeting Maureen in Section 2.

4. Describe the photograph of young Maureen and her housekeeper Lydia, and why it is important.

5. What is happening in South Africa at the time of the novel?

6. What is July’s plan to tell people, when they question his driving of the bakke, and why does Bam object?

7. Why is July so humiliated that Maureen doesn’t like him having the car keys?

8. Explain what Maureen discovers as she notices various gadgets being used around the village.

9. What does the son mean when he says “They can’t do anything. Nothing to us anymore” (pg 21).

10. Describe the situation with the vehicle in Section 3.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the characters of Ellen and Martha. How are they similar and how are they different? What do they each mean, or represent, to July, and how does this show his convoluted situation? What does this say about July as a person? About Ellen? About Martha?

Essay Topic 2

In the story, Martha’s character dreams of keeping her husband near, while her husband dreams of returning to life in the city. What do you think explains these differences, and what do you think this means for the couple? What do you think July will do, regardless of the outcome of the riots? What will Martha do, and why?

Essay Topic 3

The car becomes a social status in the book rather quickly. Explain this social status. Where did it come from? What did it mean in their old life to the Small family? What did it represent in their escape? What does it represent to July? What does July’s use of it now represent to Maureen? To Bam? To the villagers?

(see the answer keys)

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