Out of the Dust 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 in the pail that Ma grabs in the kitchen?

2. For what fruit does Billie Jo have a fondness?

3. What does Billie Jo wish she could do in town?

4. What totally unexpected event occurs in Autumn 1934?

5. What does Billie Jo call playing piano on stage?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Billie Jo? What does she like? Where does she live and who is her family?

2. How does Billie Jo like being on the road and playing piano?

3. What does Daddy do for work since the wheat crop is failing?

4. How do Billie Jo and Daddy interact now that Ma is gone?

5. Describe some of the grim scenarios that Billie Jo sees.

6. Who is Livie?

7. Describe the dust storm that wakes Billie Jo at night.

8. How does the wandering boy symbolize all the people who want to escape the dust bowl and have a better life in California?

9. What is the significance of the snowfall in Autumn 1934?

10. What are the special rules about setting the table during the dust bowl era?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Billie Jo becomes an outcast due to her hands being deformed after the fire. How does she manage through this stigma? How does she wish people would treat her? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Who is Louise and what is her role in the family? Is Billie Jo right to be cautiously optimistic about Louise's presence in her life? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

The dust takes on an almost human persona in this story. What is this literary technique called? Cite examples that support this position.

(see the answer keys)

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