Letters of E. B. White Test | Final 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 many years does White do newsbreaks for the New Yorker before retiring?

2. Who is Ursula Nordstrom?

3. How long were Katharine and E.B. White married?

4. How many copies of "The Elements of Style" have been sold?

5. In a May, 1952 letter, how does White describe the goose on the cover of "Charlotte's Web"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What feedback and advice does White offer to James Thurber for the story,"The Thirteen Clocks"?

2. How is Katharine's legacy preserved?

3. In another letter to Stanley, what does White say about his use of traction?

4. Which ailment and animal's escapades does White write to his stepson and his wife about in 1968?

5. 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?

6. What illnesses does Katharine battle between 1960 and 1965, and how does she adjust her work schedule?

7. How does White contribute to his biography, and when and where does he pass away?

8. What is the subject of the exchanged letters between White and President Richard Nixon in July, 1969?

9. How does White revise his work to be included in the new edition of "The Elements of Style"?

10. How does Hanna-Barbera acquire the rights to produce the animated motion picture version of "Charlotte's Web"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

Throughout his career, White has declined various offers for jobs, associations, and interviews. Choose three examples of offers that White declines, and explain the situations for each of them along with the reasons why White might have turned those offers down.

Essay Topic 3

White's published criticism of Alexander Wollcott is documented by their letters in the New Yorker.

1) Describe who Alexander Wollcott is, the letter that he writes, and why White finds it offensive.

2) Explain White's response to Wollcott's letter and why it is featured in the New Yorker.

3) Analyze why White decides to write a second letter, the point of the letter, and whether or not he is serious in his criticism or using humor to deliver the point.

(see the answer keys)

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