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

2. What is Wilhelm's relationship to his wife, Margaret?

3. Why is Wilhelm not divorced from Margaret?

4. According to Wilhelm, what is the purpose of the lawyers that he and Margaret hired for their divorce?

5. Why doesn't Wilhelm have enough money for rent?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Wilhelm's first impressions of Mr. Perls in Chapter 2.

2. Describe Wilhelm's first impressions of Maurice Venice, the talent scout who invites Wilhelm to Los Angeles.

3. In Chapter 4, Tamkin tells Wilhelm, "Facts always are sensational. I'll say that a second time. Facts always! are sensational!" What is his purpose for making that statement?

4. When Wilhelm finally returns to the stock market in Chapter 6, what has happened?

5. In Chapter 4, Wilhelm reveals the real reason he lost his job. What is it?

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

7. Dr. Adler says to Wilhelm, "It doesn't enter your mind that when I die--a year, two years from now--you'll still be here." What does he mean to say and what impression does he give Wilhelm instead?

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

9. Describe Wilhelm's appearance.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Wilhelm struggles with many things in his life, but above all he appears to have lost his identity.

Part 1) When we meet Wilhelm, he has lost a job. How might this event have contributed to his loss of identity? How does he try to get it back?

Part 2) Wilhelm is also substantially alienated from the characters in the book. Does this alienation affect his inability to find an identity? Why or why not?

Part 3) Wilhelm turns to Tamkin for support in his search for identity. Why does he turn to Tamkin? Do you think Tamkin is qualified to help Wilhelm rediscover his identity? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Many of the events we witness in the story occur because of one factor: pride. Consider the following:

Part 1) Pride was a factor when Wilhelm lost his job at the Rojax Corporation. Why? What happened?

Part 2) Tamkin is the only character who knows exactly why Wilhelm lost his job. Why does Wilhelm tell him? How does his pride motivate him to tell Tamkin?

Part 3) How is pride still a factor in Wilhelm's life? How has this pride caused him to get into his current situation?

Essay Topic 3

The last scene in the book is very significant and ties together many of the themes of the book. Select one topic to write about.

1) The last scene is foreshadowed in the book in many different places. Cite at least 2 examples of how it is foreshadowed.

2) The final scene is also a metaphor for Wilhelm. How is it a metaphor for Wilhelm? What does it reveal about his character?

3) The final scene is rich in imagery and language dealing with water. Cite 3 examples of allusions and what they reveal about the story and Wilhelm's character development.

4) The final paragraph is the perfect summation of the entire story, especially the final line: "He heard it and sank deeper than sorrow, through torn sobs and cries toward the consummation of his heart's ultimate need." What is his "heart's ultimate need"? Why do you think that? You must refer to specific examples from the book to support your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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