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. In "The Store", why does the protagonist's father have to quit his job?

2. In "Gospel", how old is Anita?

3. After Humphrey falls asleep on the couch, what falls out of his pocket?

4. What does Joyce drink after speaking with Pearl?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the woman Mildred's husband had an affair with.

2. Describe Lydia's lifestyle in "Lost in the City".

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

4. Explain why Marvella scolds Avis at the opening of the story.

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

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

7. In "An Orange Line Train to Ballston", describe the opening of the story.

8. Discuss the infighting that occurs amongst the Gospelteers.

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

10. Discuss the way the dreadlock man responds to Marvella's children.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Music is often an integral part of much African-American literature. Analyze the way in which music appears in this collection. Which stories most prominently feature music or musical elements? How does this music structure or shape the story? What does the music contribute to the characters or to the story itself?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the role of geography, space, and place in two or more of the stories in Jones' collection. How does Jones capture, explore, and comment on the urban environment of Washington, D.C.? How does Jones enlarge conventional notions of the nation's capitol city? In what ways do the depictions of the city in these stories interact with or build upon on another? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Selecting at least 3 stories, discuss the way in which Jones comments on marriage in this collection. Is his outlook on marriage positive or negative? Is it perhaps more nuanced than that? What factors does he explore in the marital relationship? How do these various factors explain the success or failure of the marriages in the stories? How do these stories work to form a broader commentary on marriage in American society?

(see the answer keys)

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