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 event did Thomas witness that turned him against the Christian religion?

2. Where do Victor, Thomas and Junior practice?

3. What does Thomas want to do with Chess?

4. What surprises Thomas about Victor and Junior and the band?

5. What did Robert do years ago which is bothering him?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Victor dream about that involves his mother and his stepfather?

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

6. 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?

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

8. How does Lester end up with a broken nose during the game with the police?

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

10. What happens at a rest stop on the way to Seattle?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Junior's dream is horrific in its detail. Wright and Sheridan were actual historical figures involved in the forcing of Native Americans onto reservations. While Wright might seem more compassionate to the Native American viewpoint, Sheridan seems to have no such weakness.

1. Do you think a person might be able to get insight into his/her life through a dream? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think is the symbolism of Wright and Sheridan in the book? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. What type of conflicts might Wright have had if he felt compassion for the very people he help herd onto reservations? What types of emotional and mental conflicts could he have experienced? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The two men from the record company have the same names as the generals in Junior's dream, and these men were actual figures. Both Wright and Sheridan seem to be the same men that could have been generals in the late nineteenth century, but the band members seem unaware of the similarities. They also seem to be unaware of the strange coincidence in the record company's name of Cavalry Records. Any doubt for the reader that these men are actually Generals Wright and Sheridan is removed after the conversation with Mr. Armstrong, possibly General George Armstrong Custer, when the men share a drink from a very old flask.

1. Why do you think the band members are unaware of who Sheridan and Wright might be? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

2. Although Wright and Sheridan forced Native Americans onto reservations in the nineteenth century, George Custer was defeated by the Indians. What do you think the symbolism is with Custer being the head of the record company? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

3. How does the incidences of the supernatural in this story affect the readers' identification with the characters as far as being believable enough to feel empathy with the characters? Use examples from your own life and the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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