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. What did Franklin write on napkins and bits of paper?

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

3. Where did Lightnin' sleep during every work shift?

4. Why did Hamper's dad yell at him for his bad grades?

5. At the beginning of Chapter Two, what religiously-loaded term did Hamper use to describe Flint?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Hamper's first exposure to the true culture of the Cab Shop? How did this dramatically change his attitude toward work?

2. What stories does Hamper tell about Dan-O? What do these stories add to the reader's impression of the factory?

3. What system did Dale and Hamper rig up at work? How did this again change Hamper's attitude toward his job?

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

5. How was Hamper's father an anomaly among fathers? Even at a young age, what was Hamper's opinion of him? How might this affect his own development in the future?

6. 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?

7. What pattern emerged in junior-high that led Hamper to consider the life of a shop-rat? How did he begin to identify with his family who had worked in the factory?

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

9. What kind of a person was Franklin? How was his personality different than expected? How did he act as a sort of prototype for Hamper's own life?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Several times throughout the book, Hamper gives foreshadowing of his mental breakdown. Where are these references? Do they prepare the reader for what is coming?

Essay Topic 2

Hamper often describes a small section of his surroundings - his parents' couch, his workbench, Mark's Lounge - but rarely a larger scene such as the city of Flint. What does this say about the scope of his world? How often did he take in the larger scene compared to how often he was focused simply on the task ahead of him?

Essay Topic 3

What role did the time clock play in Hamper's life? How did it become his worst enemy?

(see the answer keys)

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