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. Published in 1934, what is the title of White's third book?

2. When does White write to Katharine about his separation from the New Yorker?

3. Where were E.B. White's parents born?

4. What does White first submit to the New Yorker?

5. Which of the following is not included in the list of purchases White reports to his parents in a letter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What description does White provide of his wedding?

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

3. What happens in 1941 that leads to White's work in Washington?

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

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

6. How does White gain confidence as a writer while in college, and what acquaintances does he make there?

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

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

9. What happens during White's early New York Times interview?

10. What is the purpose of White's trip with Howard Cushman, and where do they go?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

White answers a number of letters and questions from students about writing and education in general.

1) Describe White's explanation of the process for writing a book to a fourth-grade class in Columbus, Ohio.

2) Explain White's advice to a depressed college student as well as his advice to a confused senior, and his comments about his own writing identity.

3) Compare and contrast the advice that he gives to his granddaughter, Martha, with the responses that he sends to other college students.

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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