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. Which elementary school does the protagonist's mother want her to attend in "The First Day"?

2. Where did Caesar get his first gun?

3. Who had told Caesar that dreams were a good sign for a conman?

4. In "The Girl Who Raised Pigeons", what game do the boys play in the schoolyard?

5. What is Miles' profession?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. In "The First Day", how well prepared is the protagonist's mother to enroll her child in school?

6. How does the protagonist's mother feel about leaving her child at the school in "The First Day"?

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

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

9. How does Caesar con Carol into participating in his plot to rob the disabled woman?

10. How does Robert treat his daughter Betsy Ann?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the background of each of the stories in the collection, the framework of the government and legal structure appears to hinder or support the characters. Selecting at least 2 or 3 of the stories in the collection, analyze Jones' commentary regarding the success or failure of the U.S. government to provide for the people of this community. Does Jones seem to think that the government has failed its people? Or, that it does a good job protecting their rights? Or, is his commentary perhaps more nuanced? Provide details from the text to support your argument.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the collection, Jones presents a fairly nuanced portrayal of gender roles in the African-American community of Washington, D.C. Select at least 3 short stories from the collection and discuss the ways in which the characters in these stories respond to the roles imposed on them based on their gender. Do these characters conform or rebel? What do we learn about them based on their compliance or defiance? What might Jones' message regarding gender roles be?

Essay Topic 3

In the study of urban life, the theme of containment--of limited possibility for inner city people--comes to the forefront. Discuss the notion of containment or mobility in this collection of short stories. Do the characters seem confined, restrained, or inescapably bound to their circumstances in the city? Or, are they free to move in and out of the physical and social spaces provided for them within the city? How does Jones create this sense of freedom or restriction? And, what commentary does he provide on this condition?

(see the answer keys)

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