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 does Billie Jo see sliding down her mother's skin?

2. How does Billie Jo have to set the table during the dust bowl era?

3. Ma thinks they should try growing some crops that do better in dry weather like cotton or ______________.

4. Who does Billie Jo go on the road with to play piano?

5. Where does Daddy go to work?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Ma react when a brief rain comes in the Summer of 1934?

2. How does Billie Jo feel about the piano since Ma has died?

3. In addition to her love for music, what other force drives Billie Jo to have beautiful experiences?

4. What is the argument about a pond between Daddy and Ma?

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

6. Explain how people view Billie Jo now that her hands are injured.

7. How does Mad Dog say he got his nickname? What is his real name?

8. What is the dust a metaphor for?

9. What is the irony of Ma not liking Billie Jo to play the piano?

10. How does Mad Dog make Billie Jo feel like things are back to normal at least for a little bit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the thought process that Billie Jo has that prompts her to hop a train headed west. What prompts her to return home? What was the purpose of this experience for both Billie Jo and Daddy?

Essay Topic 2

Explain how Billie Jo's piano serves as a powerful metaphor in the story. Be sure to include the perspective on the piano both before and after Ma's death.

Essay Topic 3

How does Billie Jo view her mother before her death? How does her perception change after Ma dies? Are her reactions normal? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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