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. Where has White's brother, Stanley, moved to in order to work as a landscape architect?

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

3. Where is Katharine's father a successful businessman?

4. When does White write to Katharine about his separation from 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. How is Katharine's legacy preserved?

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

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

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

5. Why does White write to Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith?

6. How does White show Katharine her importance in his life?

7. How does White categorize "Charlotte's Web" in his October, 1952 letter to Ursula Nordstrom of Harper & Brothers, and what are the sales like for the book's first edition?

8. How does White revise his work to be included in the new edition of "The Elements of Style"?

9. How long does White study the screenplay for "Charlotte's Web" and what suggestions does he make?

10. Who is Alice Burchfield?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Explain three examples of the office memos that White would write to other writers and editors at the New Yorker. For each example, describe what White's intentions are and the writing techniques he uses to achieve them.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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