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. According to Hamper, why did the nuns not care that he was a poor student?

2. Why was Hamper raised as a Catholic?

3. When Hamper's dad left, what was the only information his family had?

4. What music did Hamper and his coworkers listen to at work?

5. How much sleep did Dale typically get in a night?

Short Essay Questions

1. "I'm thinking that rock stars, even dead ones, don't come cheap" (pg xix). In the context of the Prologue, what does this quote mean?

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

3. 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?

4. Who were Lightnin' and Same-O? What did their lives say about Hamper's future?

5. 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?

6. At the end of Chapter 1, what did Hamper reveal about his hopes for the future? What insight did he show about the past?

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. How did Hamper justify his drinking at work? What was his opinion about the people who disapproved of factory workers drinking at work, and is this opinion fair?

9. How does Hamper describe the Cab Shop the first time he goes there? What about the description is the most informative about the scene?

10. Why is Hamper's description of Flint, Michigan, at the beginning of Chapter 2, a powerful one?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did Roy's crackup prefigure Hamper's own mental breakdown? What role did Hamper play on Roy's story, and how did Roy's compare to his own?

Essay Topic 2

What is the effect of Hamper's family tree as the reader moves through the book? Why would he give such detail about his extended family work history?

Essay Topic 3

What is the significance in Hamper's descriptions of his parents? He never says "Mom" or "Dad," only "my mother" or "my father." What unusual formality does this lend to his story?

(see the answer keys)

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