Ordinary People 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. In chapter 14, how does Conrad feel about what he said to Beth?

2. When did Cal and Beth get married?

3. What does Cal realize about his family while they celebrate Christmas?

4. As of the beginning of the novel, how long has Conrad been out of the hospital?

5. What birthday does Conrad celebrate in chapter 17?

Short Essay Questions

1. In chapter 6, what do Cal and Beth fight about?

2. What makes Cal wonder why Conrad would ever want to kill himself?

3. Why does Cal want to see Dr. Berger in chapter 17?

4. In chapter 14, what does Dr. Berger suggest the real problem is?

5. What causes Conrad to have his first pleasant memory about Jordan?

6. Why does Conrad have trouble sleeping after his pop quiz in trigonometry class?

7. Describe Conrad's run-in with Joe Lazenby after Conrad has quit the swim team.

8. What makes Cal think that Conrad is resuming a regular routine in chapter 1?

9. When Beth and Cal attend a dinner party in chapter 8, what does Beth get angry about?

10. According to Conrad, how does Beth feel about him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the lowest point of Conrad's life in the novel? What is the highest point? Provide evidence from the novel to strengthen your argument.

Essay Topic 2

Many of the characters in "Ordinary People" feel guilty. For example, Conrad feels guilty over the death of his brother, Jordan. How is guilt one of the major themes in the novel? What characters experience guilt and why?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, the focal point changes back and forth from Conrad to Cal. Why does Judith Guest switch back and forth between the two characters? Is this an effective technique used to tell the story?

(see the answer keys)

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