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 does Dr. Adler suggest that Wilhelm cut back on?

2. Who has Wilhelm by the throat, and is strangling him?

3. What does Wilhelm's own son call him?

4. Why was Dr. Adler a success?

5. Who said, "Well, Wilky, here we are under the same roof again, after all these years"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Wilhelm's appearance.

2. In Chapter 4, what is the reason that Tamkin cannot invest as much money in the stock market as Wilhelm?

3. In the beginning of Chapter 6, Tamkin shares the story of his own father. What is it?

4. Why is Wilhelm not more supportive of Catherine's artistic pursuits? What is significant about this?

5. How does Wilhelm feel about Mr. Rappaport's chicken industry in Chapter 5?

6. How does Tamkin convince Wilhelm to invest in commodities?

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

8. What strikes Wilhelm most about the dead man?

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

10. After he is rejected by Dr. Adler and Margaret in Chapter 7, what does Wilhelm resolve to do with his life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When we meet Wilhelm, he considers himself a complete failure. The motif of failure reappears throughout the book.

Part 1) Why is failure significant in this story? What is Wilhelm's relationship with failure?

Part 2) Sometimes failure is defined by its inverse - success. How does Dr. Adler's success help illuminate not only Wilhelm's failure, but some of his own shortcomings?

Part 3) What does Wilhelm learn from his failure, if anything? Do you think he will apply these lessons to his life beyond the book? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Alienation is a motif we see most readily in Wilhelm. He has alienated himself from family, friends, and the world in general.

Part 1) Are there other characters in the book who are also alienated? Which ones? Why would you categorize them as alienated?

Part 2) How does Tamkin take advantage of alienation to serve his own purpose with Wilhelm? Cite specific examples from the text.

Part 3) Would you consider Tamkin to also be alienated? Why or why not? How does this impact the other characters in the story?

Essay Topic 3

Poetry is quintessential to shaping this story, and reappears throughout the novel. Select one of the following topics:

1. When Wilhelm was sick, Margaret nursed him and read him poetry. In particular, he recalls a few lines of one of the poems she read. What is the significance of this poem? What does it mean for Wilhelm's character development? At what point in the story is this poem revealed? Why is this significant to the story?

2. Before going to the market, Tamkin gives Wilhelm a poem that he claims to have penned just for him. What is the significance of this poem? What does it mean for Wilhelm's character development? At what point in the story is this poem revealed? Why is this significant to the story?

3. Throughout the story, Wilhelm recalls a book of poetry he had read in college. Specifically, it's the line, "Sunk though he be beneath the wat'ry floor." What is the significance of this poem? What does it mean for Wilhelm's character development? Does the meaning of this statement change as we learn more about Wilhelm and the circumstances of his life?

(see the answer keys)

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