Nine Stories Test | Final 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 does the narrator's mother-in-law want him to send her?

2. Why does it take Esme so long to write her first letter to the narrator?

3. How does Bobby lose everything?

4. What catches the narrator's attention, urging him to go inside the church?

5. Where are Mrs. Snell's matches from?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the tea room likely suit the narrator as a place to spend his last few hours in the town rather than the Red Cross recreation room?

2. Why does Sister Irma withdraw from classes at the art school?

3. Who does Lee think Joanie goes with after the party?

4. What do the pickles, key chain and goggles tell us about Lionel?

5. Why is the narrator so taken by Esme?

6. Why does the narrator and Bobby move back to New York nine years later?

7. How does the story, Down at the Dinghy, end?

8. Why does Arthur call Lee in the first place of Pretty Mouth and Green my Eyes?

9. What happens to the narrator after he leaves the training course?

10. Why does the narrator like the bulletin board outside the church so much in For Esme -- with Love and Squalor?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dialogue is used heavily throughout the book. Cite examples of the use of dialogue that are especially memorable. Why is dialogue so important to this short story collection? How does it help the reader? What does dialogue keep from the reader?

Essay Topic 2

Mental illness because of WWII trauma is an issue brought up in more than one story in the Nine Stories collection. Why do you think this is such a prevalent topic Salinger uses? Talk about the importance of this topic in the collection. Pay special attention to the time in which the book is released. Why does this have been a controversial collection of stories because of the mental illness component?

Essay Topic 3

Salinger says he writes about young people so much because he wants to not only speak to them, but for them. Do you think he accomplishes that goal throughout Nine Stories? Why or why not? Use specific examples from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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