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. What does White encourage a college student to get in order to inspire her to write?

2. When do White and Katharine retire from the New Yorker?

3. In his letter to fifth grade students, how many sheep does White say that he has?

4. Which newspaper does White write to in protest about their profile of New Yorker editor, William Shawn?

5. How many proposals does White have to make a movie of "Charlotte's Web"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What changes does White experience after Katharine passes away?

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why does White write to Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

An editorial in the New York Herald Tribune outrages White, whose response sparks a public debate.

1) Explain the editorial that is published in the New York Herald Tribune and the "loyalty oath" it discusses.

2) Describe why White objects to the editorial and his letter to the New York Herald Tribune.

3) Explain the New York Herald Tribune's response to White and why they consider his thinking to be dangerous during that time in American history.

4) Analyze the irony in White's criticism of a newspaper publishing an opinion that he disagrees with.

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

Describe in detail three examples of how White uses his creativity and writing skills to communicate with Katharine and show her how important she is to his life. Include an analysis of what techniques White uses and why they are effective.

(see the answer keys)

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