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. Declining an editor position for The Saturday Review, what does White label himself?

2. What is the mood of White's January 8, 1938 letter to James Thurber?

3. What does White befriend while vacationing in a small shack?

4. What year does White create the cartoon featuring a caption that references the "most beautiful decision" of his life?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What impulsive decision does White write to Katharine about in May, 1937?

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

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

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

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

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

8. What is "One Man's Meat"

9. How does White describe kindergarten and high school?

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

White answers a number of letters and questions from students about writing and education in general.

1) Describe White's explanation of the process for writing a book to a fourth-grade class in Columbus, Ohio.

2) Explain White's advice to a depressed college student as well as his advice to a confused senior, and his comments about his own writing identity.

3) Compare and contrast the advice that he gives to his granddaughter, Martha, with the responses that he sends to other college students.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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