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

2. Which movie character does White write to his brother, Stanley, about in 1937?

3. At what age did White begin to develop his writing style?

4. With which faculty member(s) does White eventually write "The Elements of Style"?

5. What section of the American freedoms pamphlet is White originally hired to write, before being asked to rewrite the entire document?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Katharine Angell's background?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Charlotte's Web" reaches even more audiences with a successful animated film adaption of the story in 1973.

1) Explain White's concerns about the direction of a producer's idea for "Charlotte's Web", and how Hanna-Barbera is eventually given the rights to produce the film.

2) Describe the way White studies the screenplay for "Charlotte's Web", his notations that he includes when returning it, and how they are received by the animation studio.

3) Explain White's suggestions for the music of the movie and how they compare with the finalized movie.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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