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 first submit to the New Yorker?

2. In what musical instrument did White's father specialize?

3. What reminder does White make about the agreement with communism?

4. According to a 1931 letter to Katharine, how much does White pay for a pair of sandals at Sears Roebuck?

5. Where does White wait for Alice during a missed opportunity to see her?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does White describe his meeting in Washington in January, 1942?

2. How does White discover the New Yorker?

3. Who is Alice Burchfield?

4. How does White show Katharine her importance in his life?

5. How do White and Katharine handle their careers when they are first married?

6. How does White discuss his interest in movies with Stanley in a March, 1937 letter?

7. What complications does Katharine have while giving birth to their son in 1931?

8. Why did White first begin writing during his childhood?

9. Why does White write to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and the director of the Bronx Zoo respectively?

10. Why does Katharine hesitate before agreeing to marry White?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

White's published criticism of Alexander Wollcott is documented by their letters in the New Yorker.

1) Describe who Alexander Wollcott is, the letter that he writes, and why White finds it offensive.

2) Explain White's response to Wollcott's letter and why it is featured in the New Yorker.

3) Analyze why White decides to write a second letter, the point of the letter, and whether or not he is serious in his criticism or using humor to deliver the point.

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

White marries Katharine Angell after her careful consideration.

1) Describe Katharine's background and how she came to work at the New Yorker.

2) Explain the concerns she has about pursuing a relationship with White, and how she eventually agrees to marry him.

3) Analyze how White writes about the wedding and the way both he and Katharine return to work.

(see the answer keys)

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