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. Ginnie dreams that a servant gives _____ out instead of tomato juice at dinner.

2. How does Eloise and Mary Jane become friends?

3. Who does Seymour call 'Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948'?

4. What does Seymour do when he sits down on the bed after grabbing the object out of the suitcase?

5. Who does Eloise call an "unattractive Bela Lugosi"?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the reader know the setting takes place shortly after the end of World War II?

2. What happens with Seymour and the trees?

3. What is Seymour hospitalized for?

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

5. What can the reader like about a character like Muriel?

6. 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?

7. What does the reader learn about Muriel's mother during the "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" story?

8. What happens to the Laughing Man?

9. What clues is the reader given that Franklin is bitter about Joan?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss irony as a theme throughout the Nine Stories collection. How is it used to create suspense, power and other emotions that are meant to draw the reader into the stories?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Salinger's use of sudden and tragic endings to some of his short stories. What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them? How do they contribute or take away from the collection as a whole and each story specifically? Do you think it is a powerful way to end the stories? Why or why not? Use examples from the book to explain your answers.

Essay Topic 3

In For Esme - With Love and Squalor, a young girl becomes a powerful leader in recovery for the narrator. Why is Esme able to be so helpful to a solider that is so adversely affected by the war? What simple acts help him most? Why isn't his family able to help as much as Esme? How does a 13-year-old that he meets one time leave such a lasting impression?

(see the answer keys)

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