Lost in the City: Stories Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Edward P. Jones
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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 Cassandra call Rhonda Ferguson's father?

2. How much does the protagonist's mother give to the woman who assists in completing the forms in "The First Day"?

3. What does Betsy Ann say to her father about the pigeons?

4. What are Robert and Clara pretending to fight over?

5. What experience has taught Cassandra that asking questions can be dangerous?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the girls' encounter with Pearl and Joyce. What unconventional decision have they made?

2. Describe the environment in which Betsy Ann grows up.

3. Describe the character of Cassandra G. Lewis in "The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed".

4. How does the protagonist of "The First Day" describe the woman who greets her at Seaton Elementary?

5. In "The First Day", how does the protagonist's mother prepare her for the first day of school?

6. What does Betsy Ann do to lose her father's trust? Why does he become so angry?

7. Describe Robert's reaction to becoming a widower and single father in "The Girl Who Raised Pigeons."

8. In "The First Day", why does the protagonist's mother have her heart set on taking her to a particular school?

9. How do Caesar and Carol steal from their mark?

10. Describe the errand Gladys' mother pays Cassandra to run.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the role and characterization of the police officers in the work. How do the police interact with the characters in Jones' stories? Is the relationship between the characters and the police officers antagonistic? Respectful? What might Jones be saying about the treatment this community receives from its police officers in this collection?

Essay Topic 2

Religion emerges as a significant theme throughout the collection as Jones presents a nuanced approach to this central element of the African-American community. Discuss Jones' commentary on the institution of religion in the community he describes. How does Jones comment on the influence of religion in the African-American community? Is it a purely spiritual institution in the community? Or, does the church also serve a social purpose in the community?

Essay Topic 3

Examine the way in which race emerges as a theme in the stories. Although the book is comprised of a majority of black characters, Jones still approaches and interrogates notions of race in the United States. Using evidence from at least four stories, discuss the way in which Jones treats the topic of race. Why does he choose to focus entirely on African-American characters? How do these characters perceive their own racial identity and place with the society of the United States? Is this perception influenced by generation or class?

(see the answer keys)

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