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. Who wrote Finnegan's Wake?

2. What author of Over the Edge does Gardner cite in Chapter 1?

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

4. Gardner suggests that the dazzling poetry of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is not the same poetry that who speaks?

5. Of what author does Gardner say his heroes are clown-heroes knocked around by the universe?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Gardner say in Chapter 1 regarding "verbal sensitivity?" What does this term mean?

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

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

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

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

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

10. What does Gardner remark about theme in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Gardner's thoughts on William Faulkner. What does Gardner write about his use of dialect and language? Does he regard Faulkner as great? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Gardner's feelings about the element of "theme" when writing. Where is "theme" useful? Where is it not?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the biographical history of John Gardner. How did he come to writing? What was his childhood like? Where did he study?

(see the answer keys)

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