Orphan Train Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Christina Baker Kline
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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. When was Michael Collins assassinated?

2. What item of jewelry does Mrs. Byrne express a dislike for on Vivian in Section 2?

3. What is Mrs. Byrne's first name?

4. What color is Molly's hair described as in the beginning of the novel?

5. What was the name of Vivian's younger sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. How would you describe Vivian's objectives as she and Molly begin working in the attic in Section 2?

2. How would you describe Vivian's relationships with her fellow workers at the clothing manufacturing company owned by the Byrnes?

3. How does Vivian trigger the beginning of Molly's transformation of character in Section 2?

4. How does the structure of the novel contribute to the theme of the past's influence on the present?

5. Where is Vivian first adopted from the orphan train? Who adopts her? What is this couple's motivation for adoption?

6. What is indicated by Molly's response when Vivian asks about Molly's mother in Section 2?

7. What is Molly's function in the narrative? How has Molly's past influenced her character in the beginning of the story?

8. What happens when the orphan train stops in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to Vivian's narrative in Section 2? Who is adopted at this stop?

9. What function does Vivian's character play in the story? How is Vivian's character introduced in the beginning of the novel?

10. How would you describe the "historical" aspects of the novel? Is the author effective in illustrating the historical realities of the time period?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of loss in Orphan Train. How is this theme developed through Vivian’s character and storyline? How is it developed in Molly’s story? What are examples of symbolism in the novel that depict or support this theme?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the narrative styles of the Prologue and the main body of the book. How does the Prologue differ from the novel itself in terms of narration? Why do you think the author chose to narrate the Prologue in this manner? How do the narrative transitions work in the main body of the novel?

Essay Topic 3

Examine and discuss the correlations between Anne of Green Gables and Orphan Train. How are the protagonists of these two novels similar? How do they differ? What are the settings like of each novel? How do they compare? Why do you think Christina Baker Kline chose to allude to Anne of Green Gables throughout Orphan Train?

(see the answer keys)

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