|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. In reality, in what commodity has Tamkin moved Wilhelm's money?
2. In which commodity does Wilhelm believe his money is in?
3. Who clears two hundred a week by investing only in soy beans?
4. Who says, "...as a salesman you are basically an artist type. the seller is in the visionary sphere of the business function. And then you're an actor, too."
5. Why doesn't Margaret want to get a job herself?
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
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
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?
This section contains 477 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)