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 kind of vehicle is Thomas driving?

2. What does the guitar do to Victor?

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

4. Why won't Robert shake hands with Thomas?

5. From whom does a FedEx package arrive?

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 Thomas do after the show at Flathead?

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

4. Why can't Chess sleep in the van due to Junior?

5. What does David Walks Along find when he returns to his office from the band rehearsal and what does the band do when they hear his news?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in "Reservation Blues".

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of "Reservation Blues". How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of "Reservation Blues". How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

(see the answer keys)

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