Lost in the Funhouse Test | Mid-Book 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. Why is a conventional narrative pattern used, according to the narrator?

2. What is hanging above the old man’s head in the funhouse?

3. What does the narrator say is the emotional age of an adolescent boy compared to a girl?

4. What does the narrator say are the two reasons for not writing a story about being lost in a funhouse?

5. Why does the narrator call Ambrose’s father a minstrel in reverse that evening?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Ambrose feel about the Funhouse on the way home, and what does Uncle Karl do about the whole affair?

2. What does Ambrose remember about playing the game 'Niggers and Masters' with Peter and Magda when they were younger?

3. What does the narrator say a Freitag’s Triangle is?

4. Why are the prizes different on the broken machines at the arcade?

5. What was often done in 19th Century fiction to make a work appear real?

6. What does Ambrose think he sees when he steps into the mirror room in the Funhouse?

7. What does Ambrose’s mother give the three teenagers when they reach the boardwalk, and what does she say to them and why?

8. What does Ambrose remember of a cigar box his Uncle Karl has?

9. What does Ambrose imagine about his son and what he might say to the boy?

10. What did the hurricane of 1933 do to the Boardwalk?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Lost in the Funhouse. Are these universal symbols that would have the same meaning in any culture? What other symbols could portray the same idea? Why do you think Barth chooses the symbols he does? Consider symbols such as the Towers, Fat May, the Funhouse, and the oil in the ocean.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze and discuss what you think are the characteristics of a successful short story and why Lost in the Funhouse is or is not a successful short story based on your criteria. Do you think the criteria for a successful short story should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults?

Essay Topic 3

During the trip to Ocean City, Ambrose’s family plays car games. A traditional game is being the first to see the Towers. Ambrose, at four, realized how to win this game every time.

Discuss what understanding how to win a game at the age of four says about Ambrose as a person and what this illustrates about his intellect. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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