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

2. What is on the cover of the first New Yorker magazine that White sees?

3. What state did White and his family travel to in August?

4. What does White suggest the Department of Corrections at the New Yorker should be changed to in 1935?

5. With which faculty member(s) does White eventually write "The Elements of Style"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. As provided in his letters, what are some of White's opinions of the war and drafting?

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

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

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

7. What does White write about his brother, Stanley, and his sister, Lillian?

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

9. How does White return to the New Yorker and what embarrassing situation does he encounter there?

10. Who is Alice Burchfield?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In 1925, White takes a big step in his career and begins working for the New Yorker.

1) Describe White's situation after he returns from his road trip and before he discovers the New Yorker magazine.

2) Explain how White first learns about the New Yorker and the way he begins writing for it.

3) Describe how White writes about his initial impression of the New Yorker and the people he meets there.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Explain the key points about White's experiences at Cornell University. Provide examples of his knowledge and practice of journalism, the associations he had while at college, and what those connections led to later in his life.

(see the answer keys)

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