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

2. Who does Conrad invite out on a date?

3. What marks Conrad's happiest time in the novel?

4. What do Cal and Beth fight about in chapter 6?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Cal want to get Conrad a car for Christmas?

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

5. What causes Conrad to worry about his ability to survive in chapter 7?

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

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

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

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

10. Why doesn't Conrad first reveal that he had a brother to Dr. Berger?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is Conrad introduced? What elements does the author use to make Conrad seem realistic and likable?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the development of the three main characters: Conrad, Beth, and Cal. Compare and contrast each character from the novel's introduction to the epilogue. What changes? What do they learn?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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