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 case does White reference in a letter to the New York Herald Tribune?

2. What does White buy for Katharine with the money from the published story, The Lady is Cold?

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

4. How does White categorize his debate with the New York Herald Tribune?

5. Which one of the following is not included in the description White gives of his wedding?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does White discover the New Yorker?

3. What impulsive decision does White write to Katharine about in May, 1937?

4. What is the topic of the humorous letter of outrage that White sends to Harold Ross in July, 1945?

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

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

7. What is the New York Herald Tribune's response to White's letter, and how does he reply?

8. How does White begin writing for the New Yorker, and what does he do once his position becomes permanent?

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

10. What is "One Man's Meat"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the New Yorker magazine in the 1950s with the way it was in the 1920s. Use White's letter to his brother, Stanley, as a reference for his concern about the changes taking place at the magazine. Also, include White's description of the original goal of the New Yorker and his experiences while working there as he writes to an author that is researching a book.

Essay Topic 2

"Charlotte's Web" reaches even more audiences with a successful animated film adaption of the story in 1973.

1) Explain White's concerns about the direction of a producer's idea for "Charlotte's Web", and how Hanna-Barbera is eventually given the rights to produce the film.

2) Describe the way White studies the screenplay for "Charlotte's Web", his notations that he includes when returning it, and how they are received by the animation studio.

3) Explain White's suggestions for the music of the movie and how they compare with the finalized movie.

Essay Topic 3

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".

(see the answer keys)

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