Seize the Day 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 keeps Wilhelm from letting his father have it?

2. What product did Wilhelm's company make?

3. According to Wilhelm, who would Dr. Adler like to be rid of?

4. Which career does Wilhelm's mother want him to consider instead of acting?

5. Why did Wilhelm change his name when he got to Hollywood?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Margaret make Wilhelm feel when she harps on him for money?

2. Why does Wilhelm agree to sign a power of attorney document for Tamkin?

3. What does Wilhelm hope to receive from Mr. Rappaport in Chapter 5?

4. Why did Wilhelm not marry his girlfriend in Roxbury?

5. What are Tamkin's "here-and-now" mental exercises and what is their purpose?

6. Instead of using Tamkin's here-and-now exercise, what does Wilhelm close his eyes and hear?

7. What is the significance of the power of attorney document that Wilhelm signs for Tamkin?

8. In Chapter 7, what is odd about Wilhelm's sobbing at a funeral?

9. How does Wilhelm view himself after speaking with his father?

10. Tamkin and Wilhelm are equal partners, but Tamkin invested less than Wilhelm. What does Wilhelm think about how Tamkin might use this to his advantage?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The title of the book, Seize the Day, is used twice in the text, by two different characters.

Part 1) What does "seize the day" mean?

Part 2) Who uses the phrase? Is it used differently the first time it's used and the second? Why or why not?

Part 3) Why do you think Saul Bellow chose this title for his book?

Essay Topic 2

As Wilhelm suspected, Tamkin ultimately takes off with his money and leaves him to deal with the fallout. Abandonment is a key motif in the story.

Part 1) How does abandonment affect Wilhelm? Why does Tamkin abandon him? Who else abandons Wilhelm?

Part 2) How does Wilhelm's childhood - specifically his relationship with his father - feed his issues of abandonment?

Part 3) Finally, how does abandonment factor into Wilhelm's own family? How does it relate to Margaret? And Wilhelm's sons?

Essay Topic 3

Persuasion is an important motif throughout the book.

Part 1) How is persuasion used in the book to influence the main character, Wilhelm? Be specific with quotes and examples from the text.

Part 2) What techniques does the narrator use to persuade us, the readers, to feel a certain why? Cite examples of this.

(see the answer keys)

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