Reservation Blues Test | Lesson Plans 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

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Sherman Alexie.

2. What in Alexie's background may have helped him in writing "Reservation Blues"? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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