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 is Katharine's father a successful businessman?

2. Where were E.B. White's parents born?

3. Which Kentucky newspaper publishes White's sonnet about a race's winning horse?

4. What is the name of White and Katharine's Scottish terrier?

5. How many musical instruments did White learn to play?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is "One Man's Meat"

3. 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?

4. What ailments does White have in 1963, and how does he write about his recovery?

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

6. What is White's problem with taxi cab doors in his 1950 memo to Harold Ross?

7. What are the elements included in the Philadelphia Orchestra's children's concert of "The Trumpet of the Swan" in 1972?

8. What joke does White make to his brother, Stanley, before having a hernia operation?

9. Who does the illustrations for "Charlotte's Web", and what does White send to his publisher to help with the drawing of Charlotte?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe White's involvement with "The Elements of Style", what inspires him to first write a remembrance for Professor Strunk, how his text is revised and expanded, the contributions that he makes to the new edition, and the reasons why the book has become so popular with students and writers. Use White's letter to a former secretary later in his life to also explain why he indicates that he does not understand "The Elements of Style".

Essay Topic 2

White and Howard Cushman travel across the country in 1922 to learn about writing and life.

1) Describe Howard Cushman, his situation, and why he wants to embark on a cross country trip.

2) Explain White's motivation for the trip and what he hopes to accomplish.

3) Analyze White's job with the Seattle Times and his relationship with Alice Burchfield during the time of his trip.

Essay Topic 3

Analyze White's early childhood and how it inspired him to begin writing. Also, include why he began writing at such an early age, his opinion of school, the subjects of his earliest letters, and how they show the initial development of his writing style.

(see the answer keys)

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