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. How many musical instruments did White learn to play?

2. How does White describe himself as a child?

3. Where does White travel to after disappearing from the New Yorker?

4. What type of background did White's mother have?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the subject of the exchanged letters between White and President Richard Nixon in July, 1969?

2. What joke does White make to his brother, Stanley, before having a hernia operation?

3. How does White contribute to his biography, and when and where does he pass away?

4. How does White explain the process of writing a book to fourth-graders of Columbus, Ohio?

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

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

7. Where were White's parents from and what is their background?

8. Who is Alice Burchfield?

9. In a December, 1951 letter, how does White respond to a depressed undergraduate student about her plans to become a writer?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

E.B. White provides an autobiography about his family background as the preface for the "Letters of E.B. White".

1) Describe the background of White's parents and what led them to make their home in Mt. Vernon.

2) Explain which siblings White is closest to and why.

3) Describe the help and encouragement that White receives while growing up.

Essay Topic 2

Describe in detail three examples of how White uses his creativity and writing skills to communicate with Katharine and show her how important she is to his life. Include an analysis of what techniques White uses and why they are effective.

Essay Topic 3

In 1937, White displays his whimsical nature in a letter to Katharine.

1) Explain White's motivation for his letter, leaving the New Yorker, and why he thinks it is an ancient privilege to live in a whimsical way rather than a reasonable way.

2) Compare his decision in the letter with other impulsive decisions that he has made, such as unannounced vacations, trips, etc.

3) Analyze White's tone in his letter to Katharine, what he hopes to accomplish, and the aspects of his decision that he has considered as well as the ones that he has not considered.

(see the answer keys)

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