On Becoming a Novelist 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. Gardner compares Melville's Moby Dick with what in Chapter 1?

2. Who is the author of Crime and Punishment?

3. What masterpiece of James Joyce does Gardner suggest typing out for language growth in Chapter 1?

4. Whose disguise in Jane Eyre does Gardner comment on as surprising in Chapter 1?

5. Where had John Gardner taught before Chico State College?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Gardner say of writers with "bad taste" in language in Chapter 1?

2. What does Gardner write of expressing characters' emotions in Chapter 1?

3. How does Gardner describe traditional plot, victim stories, and "epiphany stories?"

4. What authors does Gardner use to illustrate language and character in Chapter 1?

5. What does Gardner assert of the author learning character through television in Chapter 1?

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

7. Where did Gardner learn his method of writing?

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

9. What essential things must an aspiring author understand in order to pursue writing?

10. How does Gardner explain characterization and story through his hypothetical story in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare the language and characterizations of Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and John Updike. How do these authors approach character differently?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss what Gardner refers to as "special intelligence" in the writer. How does Gardner's definition of intelligence differ from the dictionary definition?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the career of Raymond Carver. How did he come to study with John Gardner? What does he relate of his experiences as Gardner's student?

(see the answer keys)

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