Lost in the City: Stories Test | Final 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. Who had Lydia been dreaming of when the phone rang?

2. How long did Pearl think babies needed to breastfeed in order to be healthy?

3. In "The Store", how much does the protagonist make in a week working at the store?

4. In "The Sunday Following Mother's Day", on what street was the family's apartment located?

5. How long have Joyce and Rickey been married?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Store", why does Kentucky criticize the protagonist?

2. Why was the protagonist of "The Store" initially hesitant to respond to the ad in the paper?

3. How does Mansfield's mistress talk to Lydia about her husband?

4. How does Samuel Jr. react when he learns that his sister has kept contact with their father over the years?

5. Why does Santiago's grandmother ban him from her house?

6. In "The Store", how does the protagonist begin his employment at the grocery store?

7. Explain how Santiago makes money.

8. Discuss Lydia's desire to get "lost in the city" in order to deal with her grief at her mother's death.

9. Explain why the judge tells Samuel Williams Sr.'s lawyer that he cannot defend a man who will not defend himself.

10. Discuss Lydia's mother's reaction to the first boy she brings home.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Examine Jones' exploration of family and family structures throughout this collection. What models of family does Jones provide in the work? How do the various models compare to one another? Are they divergent in significant ways? Do they all contribute to a common conception of family? Do Jones' families behave in conventional or expected ways? Provide examples from at least four families in the text.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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