Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line 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. Why was Hamper raised as a Catholic?

2. How did management generally run the factory?

3. During his first stint at GM, what part of the cars did Hamper work on?

4. As Hamper began high school, what was his only plan for his life?

5. Why did Hamper fight the career trend toward the GM factory?

Short Essay Questions

1. Hamper ends Chapter 3 with the sentence, "The money was right, even if we weren't" (pg 43). What does this mean?

2. What did Hamper say about his younger siblings? How did this give the reader another glimpse of family life?

3. Who or what was Hamper's greatest enemy at work? How did he use his new attitude about work to combat the enemy?

4. How did Hamper begin to construct his life after high school? How was he alone and yet not alone during this time?

5. Hamper said that Same-O was quite likely the only genius he ever met at the General Motors factory (pg 66). Why did he say this?

6. How did Hamper's marriage to Joanie end? Given his tone in the writing, what do you think his attitude was during this time?

7. What story does Hamper tell involving Lesley Gore's music? How does this story show that Hamper, if only for an hour and twelve minutes, transcended the shop-rat mindset?

8. What do Hamper's stories about high school revolve around? How does this show that he was giving in to the nuns' perception of him that began in junior high?

9. When did the GM assembly line begin to look like an attractive option to Hamper? How did this demonstrate a change in Hamper's thinking?

10. When Hamper tells the story of people who disagree with the shop-rats' drinking, he writes much of the story in capital letters. What literary effect does this visual change have on the story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As seen in several examples throughout the book, how did General Motors treat their employees? How did Hamper's stories shed an honest light on the company?

Essay Topic 2

Why did Hamper always remember the man who came late for the GM work call, the first time he worked at the factory (pg 32)? How might his thoughts about the incident have changed as he moved in and out of GM?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 5, Hamper recounts the behaviors and antics of several of his coworkers. What makes these stories funny? How does Hamper choose words and phrases to emphasize the humor of the stories?

(see the answer keys)

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