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 Junior dream about a car when he was young?

2. What is affecting Victor and Junior's playing?

3. What does Junior do for work?

4. What kind of vehicle is Thomas driving?

5. Why are Chess and Checkers worried about Thomas?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the guitar ask of Thomas while they wait for Victor and Junior and what is Thomas' response?

3. What does Thomas ask Chess about her church, what is her response and what story does he tell that starts her crying?

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

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

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

7. What does the man who Thomas meets at an intersection on the reservation first say to Thomas?

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

9. What does Chess ask Thomas about religion and how does Thomas respond?

10. How does the song "Reservation Blues" come about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The characters Betty and Veronica are darkly comical. They believe that Native Americans have some sort of spiritual insight or wisdom. In this way they view Native Americans as stereotypes and fail to appreciate the individual. It is ironic that the two have the names Betty and Veronica, the same names as two characters from a famous comic book series. Though ironic, in this way Betty and Veronica are stereotypes of white people who have unrealistic views of Native Americans.

1. The belief that Native Americans have special insight or wisdom is prevalent in America. Explain how this perception is a type of labeling and stereotyping. Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. How does putting labels on a group of individuals get in the way of knowing those persons as individuals? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Explain the irony of Betty and Veronica stereotyping Native Americans. Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What is a plot? What are the most important elements of a plot and their definition? Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not?

2. Write a brief synopsis of the plot of "Reservation Blues", identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot?

3. Identify the major sub-plots and their elements in "Reservation Blues". (The subplots may not contain every element of a major plot). Do the sub-plots add to the main plot? Why or why not. Are the sub-plots interesting in and of themselves? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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