Plainsong Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Kent Haruf
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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 are Ike and Bobby sitting on their bikes?

2. What does Maggie notice about the McPherons' house when they enter it?

3. What does the female student say when Guthrie calls upon her?

4. What does Victoria's mother ask her after Victoria runs to the bathroom to vomit?

5. What do they decide to do to the nervous cow?

Short Essay Questions

1. What call does Dr. Martin have that has to do with the McPherons and Victoria?

2. Where do the McPheron brothers take Victoria, what do they do, and what is her response to it?

3. What do the boys tell Guthrie when he picks them up at the McPherons' and what do they ask him?

4. What do the McPheron brothers do when Victoria doesn't come home and how do they feel about it?

5. Who gathers at the McPherons' for a Memorial Day celebration and what do the brothers tell Guthrie?

6. Why does Ella ask Tom to come to her house and what happens there?

7. What do Ike and Bobby do after Russell leaves them?

8. Who do Ike and Bobby visit, what does she say and what does she do?

9. What does Guthrie tell Russell to do when Russell lies to Guthrie and what is the result of Guthrie's request?

10. What does Dr. Martin do after he examines Victoria and what does she ask him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Guthrie goes upstairs and into the room where his wife, Ella, lies in bed. He asks if she wants anything, but she does not answer. Guthrie leaves the room and Ella looks around before folding her arm across her face. Guthrie leaves the house and drives away in his pickup truck.

1. Do you think Ella Guthrie is depressed? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. How do you think younger children such as Ike and Bobby might feel about their mother? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. If Tom Guthrie was a friend of yours what would you advise him to do? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Plainsong belongs to the Post Modern genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the Post Modern genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a Mainstream novel and a Post Modern novel?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful novel?

2. Analyze and discuss Plainsong based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Plainsong is a successful novel. Explain your rationale with specific examples.

3. Do you think the fact that Plainsong is primarily for entertainment changes the criteria upon which its success should be judged? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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