Reservation Blues Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

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?

Thomas' fears show that he is more of a thinker than the other male members of the band. From the start, Thomas has been the member to make all important decisions, except when a vote is required, and he takes on the task of composing original music. Thomas' fears regarding becoming famous show that he thinks about future outcomes rather than latch onto an unrealistic and idealistic view of the effects of fame.

1. Do you think the fact that Thomas does not drink makes him more logical in his approach to life and the band's situation? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What are some of the reasons Thomas might have to fear becoming famous? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. What do you think are some unrealistic or idealistic views of fame that many people have? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Reservation Blues". 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 Alexie 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 Alexie chooses the metaphors he does?

3. Discuss Alexie's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Alexie 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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