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 does Thomas ask Robert Johnson?

2. What is Thomas's last name?

3. What does Thomas suggest as a name for the band?

4. Who does Samuel injure in a game?

5. How do Betty and Veronica earn a living?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Thomas and the two sisters do the night they find his father in the yard?

2. What happens when Thomas and Chess return to the hotel and what surprises them about their room?

3. What does Checkers think about the band and why does she think that?

4. What was the mix-up with the gig in Seattle?

5. What problem does the band encounter at the airport and what does Thomas do during the flight?

6. What do Sheridan and Wright do after talking to the band?

7. What does Checkers find when she sneaks out of Thomas' house and goes to the church?

8. How does Father Arnold end up going to comfort the band?

9. 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?

10. How does the band get involved with Sheridan and Wright?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following to discuss:

1. Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in "Reservation Blues". Are these universal symbols? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other symbols that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Alexie chooses the symbols he does?

2. Choose two important metaphors and trace and analyze their appearance in the novel. Are these universal metaphors? Would they be understood in any culture? Are there other metaphors that would portray the same idea? What are they? Why do you think Alexie chooses the metaphors he does?

3. Discuss Alexie's use (or lack ) of literary device (such as foreshadowing, cliffhangers, deux ex machina, etc...), and how they add or detract from the story. Does Alexie use too many or too little literary techniques? State which of the five major elements of fiction the literary device is related to (style, character, plot, setting, theme).

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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