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

2. Why was Hamper reinstated as a student in the school?

3. Why was Hamper's mom the primary breadwinner in the family?

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

5. What was the trickiest part of doubling-up, as Hamper and Dale did?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Hamper's reaction to the news that Louise Mandrell had ordered a GM Suburban? How does this fit what the reader already knows about Hamper's personality?

2. "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?

3. By the time Janice moved to a different area of the factory, how had she changed? How is this different from what might be expected of a woman working that job?

4. Describe Dave Steel.

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

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. In the Epilogue, Hamper shows the conflict between his mindset as a shop-rat and his time outside the factory in therapy. How did he show this and which attitude was stronger in his mind?

8. "It wasn't every afternoon that I received long-distance phone call from folks at the Wall Street Journal. I didn't remember having any friends who worked there and I was certain that I didn't owe these people any money (pg 171). What do these two sentences reveal about Hamper's character?

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

10. What role did Hamper's mother play in his life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How was Hamper involved in writing throughout the course of his life? How did his attitude toward it change?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Hamper often uses short sentences comprised of a couple nouns and no verbs. What is the effect of these sentences to the reader? Do they propel or slow the flow of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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