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 happens to Victor's guitar when he is playing?

2. What type of songs does Thomas say the band needs?

3. What does Thomas realize about Chess when they first talk?

4. Where do Victor, Thomas and Junior practice?

5. What does Checkers decide to do about the band?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Father Arnold become a priest and how did he feel about being sent to the reservation?

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

3. What does Checkers tell Father Arnold when she visits him?

4. How did Thomas' father, Samuel, end up playing basketball against six police officers when he was younger?

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

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

7. How does Lester end up with a broken nose during the game with the police?

8. What was the mix-up with the gig in Seattle?

9. What happens with the guitar and Thomas the night he plays for Victor and Junior?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Although "Reservation Blues" did not end on a happy note, many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels do end on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of "Reservation Blues" and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why "Reservation Blues" is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

4. How does the ending of Reservation Blues affect your perception of whether it is a good book or not? Would you have rather seen a more positive ending? Why do you think the author ended the book on a somewhat negative note?

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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