Portnoy's Complaint Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does the narrator keep hidden in the basement for the purpose of pleasuring himself?
(a) A jacket.
(b) An apple.
(c) A baseball glove.
(d) A milk bottle.

2. How old is the narrator when he pleasures himself on a public bus?
(a) Seventeen.
(b) Thirteen.
(c) Fifteen.
(d) Twelve.

3. What does the narrator say is "very funny on the stage--but not to live it"?
(a) The macabre.
(b) Life.
(c) The parents.
(d) Pain.

4. What is not kosher after eating meat?
(a) Cream in coffee.
(b) Cake.
(c) Jello.
(d) Dessert.

5. Who tells the narrator, "They worship a Jew, do you know that?"
(a) His father.
(b) His sister.
(c) Morty.
(d) His mother.

Short Answer Questions

1. What non-kosher food does the narrator have for dinner while out with his sister?

2. Where does the narrator's mother accuse him of going to eat in Chapter 2?

3. What does the narrator eat which makes his mother weep in Chapter 2?

4. What did the narrator's father encourage him to take a course in in high school?

5. Who is the shikse who comes to dinner with the narrator's father?

Short Essay Questions

1. What story does Alex tell about his mother and lobster?

2. Where does Alex's family move during his childhood? When does this happen?

3. What are the protagonist's principle memories of his father from early childhood?

4. What story does the narrator tell about Ronald Nimkin?

5. Why does the young Alex believe he has cancer?

6. What frustration does the narrator express in Chapter 4 about his job and his parents' view of it?

7. What does the narrator speak of regarding his humiliations with his mother as a child in Chapter 3?

8. How does the narrator feel about the laws of Judaism?

9. What does Alex remark about his father's bowel movements in Chapter 4?

10. What is the one meaningful conversation the narrator speaks of having with his sister in Chapter 3?

(see the answer keys)

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