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. At school, what is Conrad overwhelmed by?

2. Who does Cal have lunch with in chapter 11?

3. Why breakthrough occurs in chapter 13 for Conrad?

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

5. What does Conrad have trouble doing?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the progression of Jeanine and Conrad's relationship to chapter 30.

3. When Cal and Beth are in Texas, why doesn't Beth discuss Conrad with her family?

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

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

6. Why is Jeanine upset about her mom's guest?

7. Why doesn't Beth say goodbye to Conrad when she leaves?

8. Describe the trip that Cal and Beth took to Spain.

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

10. The morning that the novel starts, what things does Conrad wonder?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Conrad is obsessed with not failing. The other characters also have fears. Analyze the fears of three different characters. Why are these fears significant to the progression of the novel? Do their fears become obsessions? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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