Mystery and Manners; Occasional Prose 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. What did the telephone repairman comment on when O'Connor asked what he thinks of the peacock?

2. What reason did O'Connor give a female student who asked her why she writes?

3. What sort of eyes did O'Connor prefer chickens to have?

4. What does O'Connor think every writer would like to think of himself as?

5. Where was the photographer from who visited O'Connor at her home?

Short Essay Questions

1. What observations does O'Connor make about the student manuscripts she read?

2. How does O'Connor describe grotesque writing?

3. Why does O'Connor believe Southern writers are anguished?

4. How did the peacock react when a telephone repairman tried to get him to strut?

5. What does O'Connor say about the Manicheans in "The Nature and Aim of Fiction"?

6. How does having lost the Civil War make Southerners better writers, according to O'Connor?

7. How does O'Connor feel about the fiction writer using symbols?

8. Why does O'Connor think some people pretend to be unaffected by the peacocks?

9. How does O'Connor feel about the average person that is interested in writing?

10. How does the peahen act when she lays eggs?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does O'Connor say she must write, as both a Catholic and a novelist? What does she say her is her responsibility? Why is she so passionate about her obligations? Why is it so important to her to meet the obligations she has set for herself? What can be learned about O'Connor as a fiction writer by looking at the ways in which she defines herself? Why do you think she makes it a point to say that she must protect her reality? What does this mean for her and her reader?

Essay Topic 2

What does O'Connor mean when she says it is the business of fiction to embody mystery and manners? What does she mean when she talks of manners? Of mystery? How does a writer figure out what their mystery and manners are? How does O'Connor find her mystery and manners? How do mystery and manners work together to create interesting fiction? How does regionalism tie into mystery and manners?

Essay Topic 3

Examine what O'Connor says about the writer's preoccupation with the poor. Why does she believe that writers tend to write about poor people? In what ways do poor people make interesting stories? What is it about the poor and their manners that attract writers? What does she mean when she says that everyone is poor in the eyes of the novelist?

(see the answer keys)

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