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. When Hamper was a child, why were his friends amused by his dad?

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

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

4. According to Hamper, what percentage of Flint was linked to the auto factories?

5. What did Hamper discover when he began to write poetry?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. "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?

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

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

7. How did Hamper's marriage to Joanie end? Given his tone in the writing, what do you think his attitude was during this time?

8. When did the GM assembly line begin to look like an attractive option to Hamper? How did this demonstrate a change in Hamper's thinking?

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

10. To what does Hamper attribute his success at the beginning of high school? How does this fit into his plans for his life?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

"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?

(see the answer keys)

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