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. According to a 1931 letter to Katharine, how much does White pay for a pair of sandals at Sears Roebuck?

2. When does White begin living with three other Cornell graduates?

3. What year(s) does White write letters about Katharine's miscarriage and his mother's passing?

4. How many children did White's parents have?

5. What idea does White speak against while in Washington?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does White write to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and the director of the Bronx Zoo respectively?

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

3. What unscheduled vacation does White take from the New Yorker and how does he inform them of his absence?

4. How does White discover the New Yorker?

5. How does White describe his meeting in Washington in January, 1942?

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

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

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

9. How does White discuss his interest in movies with Stanley in a March, 1937 letter?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe White's trip to Washington, including the events that lead up to it, the reasons he is hired by the Department of Facts and Figures, the difference between his original responsibility with his eventual role in the pamphlet, and his opinions of the meetings and process there. Also, provide an analysis of White's views on the war and the draft that he discusses in the letters he writes when he returns from Washington.

Essay Topic 2

"Charlotte's Web" is considered to be White's most popular book and one of the most recognized children's stories for several reasons.

1) Describe White's farm and the inspiration behind the ideas that formed "Charlotte's Web".

2) Explain White's concerns with the illustrations for the book, "Charlotte's Web", and how he resolves them with his publisher.

3) Describe the issues that White has with the cover art for the book, "Charlotte's Web", the suggestions and advice that he gives to his publisher, and why the advice is particularly appropriate.

4) Analyze White's reaction to the success of "Charlotte's Web", and whether or not he is surprised that it connects with children in such a huge way.

Essay Topic 3

White marries Katharine Angell after her careful consideration.

1) Describe Katharine's background and how she came to work at the New Yorker.

2) Explain the concerns she has about pursuing a relationship with White, and how she eventually agrees to marry him.

3) Analyze how White writes about the wedding and the way both he and Katharine return to work.

(see the answer keys)

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