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 do the strangers from outside the reservation expect to hear from the band?

2. What do the cops do to Lester when they are playing ball?

3. What story does Thomas tell when they are talking about Christianity and the Indians?

4. What does Victor dream about his stepfather?

5. What happens to Thomas' vehicle when they reach the base of the mountain?

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

3. How does the band end up getting a name?

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

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

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

7. What is Victor doing while the band is waiting for their turn in the the battle of the bands?

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

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

The narrative in Chapter 4 switches back and forth between the present and the past when Thomas' father, Samuel, played basketball with the tribal police. The incident with the police shows in many ways how some reservation residents resent any member of the tribe that succeeds. While some reservation residents engage in almost hero worship of one who excels, plenty of others seem to feel jealousy to the point of hatred.

1. Why do you think some poor people might get jealous of people from their circumstances doing well? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think is the differences in the people who hero worship someone who has done well as opposed to ones who are angry or hateful towards that person? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Why do you think the police became violent when playing ball with Samuel? 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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