Nine Stories 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 does Ginnie like playing tennis with Selena?

2. Who is Sybil Carpenter?

3. Where does Mary Jane get the cameo brooch she is wearing?

4. Who is Eric?

5. Who is Seymour Glass?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the reader uncertain whether Seymour is going to shoot himself, Muriel or both when he grabs the pistol out of the suitcase?

2. What makes the reader think that perhaps Eric is not allowed into the military because he is homosexual?

3. Why is the setting appropriate for the story, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut?

4. What is Seymour hospitalized for?

5. What indications does the reader have in the beginning of the story, Just Before the War with the Eskimos, that it is about a wealthy group of people?

6. What is wrong physically with Ramona?

7. Why doesn't the narrator list all of the Chief's attributes?

8. What leads the reader to believe that tension is building throughout the story?

9. Who speaks the most during the story, Just Before the War with the Eskimos, and from who's point of view is the story told?

10. Why does Muriel insist that Seymour isn't capable of harmful actions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the strongest theme in Nine Stories? Why does it leave such a lasting impression? Use specific examples from the book to explain your opinion.

Essay Topic 2

How is dark comedy used in this collection? What does it add to the collection? How does it affect the reader? Why is dark humor used to discuss topics that are normally taboo? Why is dark humor needed to talk about topics that are normally taboo?

Essay Topic 3

Being a meditating child genius that is unaffected by emotion, Teddy is one of the more unique characters in the collection. Explore and analyze Teddy as a character. How does his age affect the story? How do you feel about his lack of emotion on any topic? What makes Teddy so different from the other characters Salinger creates in the collection?

(see the answer keys)

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