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 did Hamper grow up in a neighborhood of houses that all look alike?

2. Why did Hamper's dad often denounce African-Americans?

3. What was the name of Hamper's first supervisor?

4. Why was Hamper expelled from his Catholic high school?

5. How did the assembly-line workers originally run their radio?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

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

4. How did Hamper's stories about life after high school reveal the time period in which they were written? What clues did he give by telling how much things cost?

5. 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?

6. What kind of person was Joanie? Use Hamper's references to her to create a character description.

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

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 religious background did Hamper have during his childhood? How did religion shape his move into adulthood?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

"Layin' back is a fine reward when you're employed. However, layin' back tends to wear thin when it itself becomes your job. Gettin' loaded, readin' magazines, staring at the television becomes a rut rather than any form of relaxation" (pg 83). How is this true? What part did unemployment play in Hamper's life? How did it change his opinion about working?

Essay Topic 3

Who was Gino Donlan? Why did Hamper like him and why was he different from many other people in his same position? To answer this, you should compare him to other supervisors in the plant.

(see the answer keys)

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