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. At the end of Chapter Four, where was Hamper writing the book?

2. Why, primarily, did GM management not crack down on the employees' drinking during work?

3. Why did Hamper and Mike come to hate their fathers?

4. When Hamper moved into his mother's basement, what did he think would save his marriage to Joanie?

5. According to Hamper's theory, why did the shop-rats listen to that kind of music?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. At the end of Chapter 4, Hamper reveals his place in the present time and lets the reader know that the events took place some nine years before he wrote about them. What effect does this have on the reader's perception of the book?

4. 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?

5. Hamper's father, though not a model of determination or reliability, often berated his son because of his poor grades. How did his cursing set the tone of their conversations about school?

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

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

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

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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