Necessary Losses 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. Which fictional character mentioned in the book chooses not to become a man, and stay as a boy forever?

2. What does the author state that extended separation from a mother can cause a child?

3. The following verse is from what poem? "And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns, About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home, In the sun that is young once only, Time let me play and be..."

4. What was the name of the "weird little novel" mentioned by Viorst in Chapter 8?

5. According to Chapter 11, we sometimes fear that our fantasies can do what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Chapter 1 entitled, "The High Cost of Separation"?

2. Rather than be trapped in mourning for what we did not get as children, what does the author propose we do?

3. The term "penis envy" can sound quite ridiculous, but Viorst points out that it takes on many metaphorical meanings. What are some of those possible symbolic meanings?

4. Despite a constant desire for independence, why do young children keep coming back to their mothers?

5. Excessive punishment of ourselves rests on the illusion of what?

6. What does our superego have to do with resolving the Oedipus complex?

7. Using an example from the book, describe ways in which the Oedipus complex can play out in the lives of adults.

8. What did Stanley Milgram's experiment reveal about people?

9. Why did Art Buchwald, journalist and friend of the author, say that he understands about "scars on the brain"?

10. Why were Hansel and Gretel so close to each other relationally?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chapter 15 talks about the "corporate characteristic" of families, specifically mentioning the Bachs and the Kennedys. Explore this idea of family identity and myths. Using support from the book, in what ways is it helpful for families? In what ways could it be problematic? Consider your own experience and whether your family or friends' families have a "corporate characteristic."

Essay Topic 2

When mothers who reject our dependency push us from the nest too soon, the author says, we "adapt, or crumple, or compromise." Discuss the ways in which children can respond to each individual situation. In what ways can parents help children through such an experience? Why do you feel parents sometimes prematurely demand independence from their children?

Essay Topic 3

Using support from the book, explore the poem by Maxine Kumin entitled, "After Love." How does this poem support the author's stance that we all seek a substitute for the loss of oneness with our mother through other means? How does a moment like the one the poet describes fulfill our need, though temporarily, to feel oneness again?

(see the answer keys)

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