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 state did White and his family travel to in August?

2. How does White describe himself as a child?

3. Where does Katharine travel to in order to get her divorce before marrying White?

4. How does White refer to his work in Washington in a March 2, 1942 letter to John Fleming?

5. According to White's second rebuttal to the New York Herald Tribune, what is the best way to preserve American freedoms?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the purpose of White's letter to John Wentworth in 1947?

2. What description does White provide of his wedding?

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

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

5. How does White discover the New Yorker?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

White and Howard Cushman travel across the country in 1922 to learn about writing and life.

1) Describe Howard Cushman, his situation, and why he wants to embark on a cross country trip.

2) Explain White's motivation for the trip and what he hopes to accomplish.

3) Analyze White's job with the Seattle Times and his relationship with Alice Burchfield during the time of his trip.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

"Charlotte's Web" is considered to be White's most popular book and one of the most recognized children's stories for several reasons.

1) Describe White's farm and the inspiration behind the ideas that formed "Charlotte's Web".

2) Explain White's concerns with the illustrations for the book, "Charlotte's Web", and how he resolves them with his publisher.

3) Describe the issues that White has with the cover art for the book, "Charlotte's Web", the suggestions and advice that he gives to his publisher, and why the advice is particularly appropriate.

4) Analyze White's reaction to the success of "Charlotte's Web", and whether or not he is surprised that it connects with children in such a huge way.

(see the answer keys)

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