Letters of E. B. White 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 does White write about in a tongue-in-cheek letter to Harold Ross in July, 1945?

2. What event prompts White to write the director of the Bronx Zoo?

3. What poet does White parody in a December, 1918 letter to his mother?

4. What possible excuse does White provide for the New Yorker's ignorance in his humorous letter of outrage in 1945?

5. When is White's son, Joel, born?

Short Essay Questions

1. What suggestions does White have for the New Yorker between 1932 and 1935?

2. Why does White decline a job offer from the Saturday Review?

3. What unscheduled vacation does White take from the New Yorker and how does he inform them of his absence?

4. What does White do after he returns from his road trip?

5. What is "One Man's Meat"

6. What does White write about his brother, Stanley, and his sister, Lillian?

7. What is Katharine Angell's background?

8. As provided in his letters, what are some of White's opinions of the war and drafting?

9. What causes White to write a seething letter to the New York Herald Tribune?

10. How does White describe kindergarten and high school?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze White's response to a letter by Cathy Durham about why he has not written another children's book. Include why he might have replied that way, the response of Cathy's librarian, and the solution that White's publisher develops for preventing any future issues.

Essay Topic 2

Describe White's involvement with "The Elements of Style", what inspires him to first write a remembrance for Professor Strunk, how his text is revised and expanded, the contributions that he makes to the new edition, and the reasons why the book has become so popular with students and writers. Use White's letter to a former secretary later in his life to also explain why he indicates that he does not understand "The Elements of Style".

Essay Topic 3

In 1925, White takes a big step in his career and begins working for the New Yorker.

1) Describe White's situation after he returns from his road trip and before he discovers the New Yorker magazine.

2) Explain how White first learns about the New Yorker and the way he begins writing for it.

3) Describe how White writes about his initial impression of the New Yorker and the people he meets there.

(see the answer keys)

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