Private Peaceful Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Morpurgo
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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 punishment does the Colonel decide to mete out?

2. What happens when Thomas wakes Big Joe when they find him?

3. What does Thomas see hanging from a fence?

4. Why doesn't Charlie see Molly or Thomas much after the Bertha incident?

5. What does the Colonel demand when he comes to the cottage in the morning?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is life like when Grandma Wolf comes to live at the boys' home?

2. How has Molly changed when she visits on Christmas Eve and how does Thomas feel about her?

3. What animal does Big Joe love and who does not share his enthusiasm for the creatures?

4. How do Charlie and Thomas thwart Grandma Wolf's attempts to get rid of the mice?

5. What does Charlie do when he sees Thomas in a fight with Jimmy Parsons and what happens to the boys who are fighting?

6. What punishment does the Colonel mete out to the boys and how does their mother amend the punishment?

7. What happens when the Colonel arrives at the cottage the morning after Charlie steals Bertha?

8. How does Thomas' father die?

9. Of what does the dead crow remind Thomas?

10. How do Molly and Charlie gradually become distanced from Thomas and what is Thomas' response?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

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

2. Analyze and discuss Private Peaceful based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Private Peaceful is a successful novel.

3. Do you think the criteria for a successful novel should be different if it is written for adults versus young adults? Why or why not? Would most adults consider Private Peaceful a successful novel? What about young teens?

Essay Topic 2

Over the course of Private Peaceful, Thomas grows as a person in both complexity and understanding. Private Peaceful might be considered a slice of Thomas's larger story of his "coming of age." It might be said that Private Peaceful is a "bildungsroman" of Thomas Peaceful. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Thomas as he changes from a more carefree, innocent boy to a wiser, young man. What are the significant events that change Thomas?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Thomas's growth throughout Private Peaceful, do you think Private Peaceful could be considered Thomas's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other characters in Private Peaceful who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Private Peaceful. Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Morpurgo chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Morpurgo chooses the metaphors he does?

3. Discuss Morpurgo's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, clifthangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Morpurgo use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

(see the answer keys)

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