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. Where did Karen and Conrad meet?

2. When did Cal and Beth get married?

3. Where does Lazenby invite Conrad?

4. How does Conrad believe he has let Beth down?

5. Who does Conrad invite out on a date?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Conrad and Jeanine believe is the reason they got better?

2. What does Conrad use as an excuse to quit the swim team?

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

4. Describe Conrad's reaction to Karen's death.

5. Why is Cal surprised that Ray knows about his family's problems?

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

7. How does chapter 13 represent a breakthrough for Conrad and his family?

8. How does Conrad feel after his date with Jeanine?

9. What are Cal's hopes for his vacation with Beth in Texas?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Beth is a perfectionist, and Conrad is afraid to make mistakes. Describe the ways in which perfection is a major theme in the novel. Which characters strive for perfection? How does it affect their life and character development?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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