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

2. What does Checkers first tell Father Arnold when she sees him?

3. When does Thomas write Reservation Blues?

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

5. What kind of music does the band play?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when the band first arrives at Flathead Reservation and what happens about time there?

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

3. What does Thomas do after the show at Flathead?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Oftentimes, a book has more of a character-driven plot rather than action driven, and oftentimes the other way. Some books seem to balance the two. Discuss the following:

1. What do you think it means to say that a plot is character driven? Action driven?

2. How do you think a plot differs if it is character driven versus action driven?

3. Which type of plot do you find more interesting? Why?

4. Do you think it is possible to have a plot where action and character development share equal time? Why or why not.

5. What type of plot do you think Reservation Blues is? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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