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 was the name of the new school that combined all local Catholic high schools?

2. Approximately how long was Hamper's father gone?

3. What did Hamper do when people criticized him for drinking on the job?

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

5. How much money did Hamper make painting apartments?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What promises did the Plant Manager make during the factory meeting? How did Hamper's retelling of the speech change its tone?

3. 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?

4. What did Hamper say about his younger siblings? How did this give the reader another glimpse of family life?

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

6. 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?

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

8. "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?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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 2

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

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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