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. How does White describe the perception of him at the New Yorker office in July, 1931?

2. Where does White first notice the New Yorker magazine?

3. What does White write about in a tongue-in-cheek letter to Harold Ross in July, 1945?

4. How long does White tell his friend, Charles Muller, that he can stay away from the farm?

5. According to White's letter to Katharine, what is "man's ancient privilege"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. How does White discover the New Yorker?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

E.B. White provides an autobiography about his family background as the preface for the "Letters of E.B. White".

1) Describe the background of White's parents and what led them to make their home in Mt. Vernon.

2) Explain which siblings White is closest to and why.

3) Describe the help and encouragement that White receives while growing up.

(see the answer keys)

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