Rabbit, Run Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Harry doing when he finally cries?

2. Which of the following is not a nickname that Eccles gives to one of his parishioners?

3. Who made Janice switch obstetricians when she became pregnant a second time?

4. What does Mrs. Smith give Nelson when Harry comes over to quit?

5. Who does Harry agree should see Janice before he does?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The novel RABBIT, RUN contains much discussion of the elusive nature of faith. Harry struggles with the idea of the divine for a long time, unable to explain it to anyone, even himself. Write an essay on faith in the novel, in three parts:

Part 1) Ruth, an agnostic, is sickened by the church across the street from her apartment. How does Harry defend the idea of God in both her apartment and atop Mt. Judge? What was he raised believing?

Part 2) As Jack Eccles and Harry play golf, Harry explains the reason for his leaving home. To what extent is Harry's initial journey from his family a religious pilgrimage? What does he seek?

Part 3) Examine how the death of Rebecca Angstrom affects Harry's faith. How does he reconcile his notion of God with the senseless death of his child?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about Janice Angstrom's inner struggle with her own self-image. How does her relationship with Harry affect the way in which she views herself? In what way do her children serve as surrogates for her husband? Why does she turn to alcohol so often to cope with life? Explore these questions as you chart her character's arc.

Essay Topic 3

Updike's novel is the story of a man unable to commit to any way of life for fear that a better option exists somewhere else. Write an essay about this fear, focusing on three of Rabbit's frantic flights:

Part 1) At the beginning of the novel, Rabbit abruptly abandons his family to drive south. What is he hoping to find on this journey? Why does it fail? How does Rabbit's interaction with a gas station attendant portend this failure?

Part 2) Why does Rabbit decide to leave Ruth? What does he think he leaves behind with this abandonment? What does he leave behind in reality?

Part 3) The final pages of Rabbit, Run contain a frantic flight in all directions for the protagonist. What is he trying to escape? How do neither of his two homes contain this goal? Where is Rabbit left at the end of the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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