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 does the guitar do to Victor?

2. To where does Chess say she is thinking of moving?

3. What does Thomas ask Robert Johnson?

4. What do Victor and Junior ask Thomas when they see him with the guitar?

5. What does the guitar do during the night?

Short Essay Questions

1. What surprises Thomas about Victor and Junior's music, who comes to listen to the band rehearse, what kind of music do they expect and what does the band actually play?

2. What does Victor dream about that involves his mother and his stepfather?

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

4. What happens at Junior's funeral?

5. What does Thomas do after the show at Flathead?

6. Why is Robert Johnson at the reservation, and what does Thomas say to him about Big Mom?

7. What does Thomas do with the guitar Johnson left in his van and what do Victor and Junior say to Thomas about the guitar? What do they do to the guitar?

8. What does Thomas ask Chess and Checkers to do and what is their response?

9. What does Victor do at the studio and after they leave?

10. How does Checkers end up getting injured at Thomas' house?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The relationship between Thomas and his tormentors Victor and Junior is familiar and conditioned over time. Clearly these men have known each other since childhood and they continue to act the same way toward each other as they did as children. Victor and Junior are the oppressors, and Thomas is the passive victim.

1. Why do you think it is difficult to change our relationship with a person we have known for many years? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think are some of the reasons a bully victimizes others? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Why do you think Thomas remains passive when he is bullied by Victor and Junior? Look at Thomas, not only in the present, but also the clues one is given from his childhood. Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Victor began drinking at an early age. Junior tried to avoid drinking because of what he witnessed with his parents' drinking, but Junior eventually succumbed to Victor's encouragement to drink. Thomas does not drink, but he has a father who is an alcoholic. Alcoholism has had a profound effect on the members of Coyote Springs, as it has with many Native Americans. Thomas, Victor, and Junior have all encountered tragedy due to alcoholism, whether it be one's own alcoholism or the excessive drinking of a relative.

1. What might be some of the reasons a person who had alcoholic parents and witnessing what alcoholism does would take up drinking. Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What are some of the circumstances on a reservation that might push people to drink even knowing that it appears Native Americans cannot genetically handle alcohol. Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. What do you see is the difference in Thomas's personality from Victor or Junior's that would induce him to not drink even though he had an alcoholic father like Victor and Junior? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Junior's dream is horrific in its detail. Wright and Sheridan were actual historical figures involved in the forcing of Native Americans onto reservations. While Wright might seem more compassionate to the Native American viewpoint, Sheridan seems to have no such weakness.

1. Do you think a person might be able to get insight into his/her life through a dream? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think is the symbolism of Wright and Sheridan in the book? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. What type of conflicts might Wright have had if he felt compassion for the very people he help herd onto reservations? What types of emotional and mental conflicts could he have experienced? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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