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. Who does Thomas say are allowed to see Big Mom?

2. What does Michael White Hawk say about the band in the local paper?

3. Why did Junior start to drink?

4. What does Thomas list in a journal entry?

5. Why does being around Betty and Veronica upset Checkers?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Thomas and Chess do when Victor and Junior are sleeping in the van?

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

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

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 Checkers tell Father Arnold when she visits him?

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

7. How did Victor and Junior begin drinking and what is Thomas's drinking history?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Reservation Blues" belongs to the Native American literature genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the fantasy genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between Native American literature and an historical novel?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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