On Becoming a Novelist Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Whose disguise in Jane Eyre does Gardner comment on as surprising in Chapter 1?
(a) Mr. Darby.
(b) Mr. Wolverton.
(c) Mr. Bryg.
(d) Mr. Rochester.

2. With what older colleague did Gardner publish an anthology of fiction at Chico College?
(a) Michael Ewing.
(b) James Fenway.
(c) Lennis Dunlap.
(d) David Wellesley.

3. What is one of the philosophers who has maintained that words inevitably distance us from the brute existence, according to Gardner in Chapter 1?
(a) Plato.
(b) Socrates.
(c) Kierkegaard.
(d) Nietzsche.

4. Gardner suggests the young writer get a first-rate freshman composition book such as An American Rhetoric by whom?
(a) Michael A. Morris.
(b) James A. Richards.
(c) Stuart Waterman.
(d) W. W. Watt.

5. Gardner states that in the works of Shakespeare, language always serves character and what?
(a) Aesthetic.
(b) Action.
(c) Irony.
(d) Wit.

Short Answer Questions

1. What author does Gardner remark has a bad habit of breaking the vivid and continuous dream by pouring on the rhetoric in Chapter 1?

2. Which author does Gardner state had "gazelle eyes" which dominated the room in Chapter 1?

3. In Chapter 1, Gardner states that "In a literary culture where the very notion of a 'masterpiece' is commonly thought" what?

4. What author does Gardner say has a deep misanthropic mistrust in Chapter 1?

5. In what novel does Levin propose to Kitty, as cited in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 1, what does Gardner say the most common question of the aspiring writer is to him? What is the response?

2. What is the second indicator of talent that Gardner discusses in Chapter 1? What author does he cite in this?

3. How does Gardner define "setting," "plot," and "theme" in Chapter 1?

4. What state does good fiction elicit in the reader, according to Gardner?

5. What is the "moronic setup" that Gardner relates in Chapter 1?

6. What does Gardner relate about the "author's character" in Chapter 1? How does he describe "special intelligence?"

7. What hypothetical situation does Gardner uses as an example of plot in Chapter 1?

8. What does Gardner suggest as ways to understand the psychology of characters unlike themselves?

9. Who does Gardner refer to as the "best" novelists in Chapter 1? What lesson does he cite of them?

10. What does Gardner write of Nabokov in Chapter 1?

(see the answer keys)

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