Plainsong Test | Final Test - Hard

Kent Haruf
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Dwayne ask Victoria to do?

2. Where are Guthrie and Maggie dancing?

3. Where do Ike and Bobby go when they leave Mrs. Stearns' house?

4. What does the sheriff say to Tom and the Beckmans?

5. What do the McPheron brothers say to Victoria's question?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The only question Victoria has for the doctor is whether her baby is all right. Clearly she does want the baby. At this point it is difficult to say why Victoria wants to have the baby despite the hardships pregnancy and motherhood will cause. Perhaps because Victoria has never had a fulfilling family life she is ready to love a child of her own.

1. Discuss the reasons why Victoria might want to have her baby.

2. Do you think Victoria should keep her baby? Why or why not?

3. Discuss the pros and cons of a teenage girl having and keeping a baby.

Essay Topic 2

Oftentimes, a book is more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Plainsong is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 3

Plainsong, like many, and perhaps a majority, of novels ends on a happy (or at least optimistic) note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why? not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of Plainsong and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why Plainsong is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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