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. How does Conrad spend his birthday?

2. Why doesn't Karen want to keep in touch with Conrad?

3. What group or event does Conrad want to quit?

4. What does Cal believe his role is in the family?

5. What is the name of the wife of Cal's partner's?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Conrad tell anybody that he has quit the swim team?

2. Describe Conrad's meeting with Karen.

3. Describe Beth's attitude toward Cal and Conrad in chapter 6.

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

5. Describe Conrad's first appointment with Dr. Berger.

6. How is Conrad's confidence boosted at the library?

7. How was attention called to Conrad's issues before he went to the mental hospital?

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

9. Describe Cal's first appointment with Dr. Berger.

10. What does Conrad's dream of being confined in a tunnel represent?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the role of Jeanine's character in Conrad's development into a stronger and more independent character? What about the other secondary characters?

Essay Topic 2

Many of the events in "Ordinary People" are realistic, such as Conrad's reaction to Karen's death. What other elements of the novel are realistic? Analyze the realism in the novel and explain whether it is effective as a literary technique.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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