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 is Cal afraid of after Conrad gets his present?

2. What is Conrad's only escape?

3. Which of the following is Conrad's second goal?

4. Which word best describes Conrad's therapist?

5. What does Conrad worry about after his meeting with Karen?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What is Cal's role in his family?

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

7. Describe the new goals that Conrad sets for himself.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Who is the protagonist of the novel? Who is the antagonist? How do both the protagonist and antagonist of "Ordinary People" contribute to the novel's conflict?

(see the answer keys)

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