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 job does White have while living with his parents in New York?

2. What issue should people be concerned about, according to White in a 1947 letter to John Wentworth?

3. How does White describe himself as a child?

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

5. How does White describe publicity to Alice while working at the American Legion News Service?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does White describe kindergarten and high school?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Katharine passes away and her legacy is secured as White contributes to his own biography towards the end of his life.

1) Describe the change in White's writing after Katharine passes away, how her literary effects help establish her legacy, and the way her book, "Onward and Upward in the Garden" is published.

2) Explain the contributions that White makes to his biography as it is being written and his opinion of the finished book.

3) Analyze the ways that E.B. White will be remembered along with the impact of his work in writing and entertainment.

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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