Reservation Blues Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 do the cops do to Lester when they are playing ball?

2. Where does Thomas sleep at Chess's house?

3. Why does being around Betty and Veronica upset Checkers?

4. What does the guitar do to Victor?

5. What type of men does Checkers always date?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Victor and Junior doing while Thomas and Chess are at the hotel?

2. What does Johnson convince Big Mom to do and what does she give him? Why does she give him it?

3. Why does Wright bust into Checkers' hotel room?

4. What happens when the band first arrives at Flathead Reservation and what happens about time there?

5. What does Junior do when the band leaves Big Mom?

6. What happens to the band on the way to a venue not on an Indian Reservation and what surprises the band about the incident?

7. What happens at a rest stop on the way to Seattle?

8. What was in the conversation Father Arnold has with the bishop?

9. Why can't Chess sleep in the van due to Junior?

10. What does the guitar do about Thomas singing to Chess, and what does Chess eventually do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in "Reservation Blues". Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of courage in "Reservation Blues". Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of death in "Reservation Blues". Consider not only Junior's suicide but the death of the band's dreams and Father Arnold leaving the priesthood.

Essay Topic 2

The narrative in Chapter 4 switches back and forth between the present and the past when Thomas' father, Samuel, played basketball with the tribal police. The incident with the police shows in many ways how some reservation residents resent any member of the tribe that succeeds. While some reservation residents engage in almost hero worship of one who excels, plenty of others seem to feel jealousy to the point of hatred.

1. Why do you think some poor people might get jealous of people from their circumstances doing well? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think is the differences in the people who hero worship someone who has done well as opposed to ones who are angry or hateful towards that person? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Why do you think the police became violent when playing ball with Samuel? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think "Reservation Blues" is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

(see the answer keys)

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