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. When do the Whites rent a cottage on the coast of Maine?

2. What comparison does White use to illustrate his opinion of the draft in a 1942 letter to Harold Ross?

3. What poet does White parody in a December, 1918 letter to his mother?

4. When does White submit the manuscript for Stuart Little to his agent?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Alice Burchfield?

2. What does White do after he returns from his road trip?

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

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

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

6. What is "One Man's Meat"

7. What suggestions does White have for the New Yorker between 1932 and 1935?

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

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

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

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

An editorial in the New York Herald Tribune outrages White, whose response sparks a public debate.

1) Explain the editorial that is published in the New York Herald Tribune and the "loyalty oath" it discusses.

2) Describe why White objects to the editorial and his letter to the New York Herald Tribune.

3) Explain the New York Herald Tribune's response to White and why they consider his thinking to be dangerous during that time in American history.

4) Analyze the irony in White's criticism of a newspaper publishing an opinion that he disagrees with.

Essay Topic 3

Describe White's trip to Washington, including the events that lead up to it, the reasons he is hired by the Department of Facts and Figures, the difference between his original responsibility with his eventual role in the pamphlet, and his opinions of the meetings and process there. Also, provide an analysis of White's views on the war and the draft that he discusses in the letters he writes when he returns from Washington.

(see the answer keys)

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