The Shrike Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Joseph Kramm
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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 happens in "seven", according to what the other patients tell Jim?

2. How long has Ann been at Jim's bedside?

3. In what way does Jim eventually respond to Dr. Bellman's first request?

4. What has Jim been depressed over?

5. How is Jim Downs brought into the hospital?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is ironic about the way the play ends and what message was the author trying to deliver?

2. According to what Jim tells Dr. Schlesinger, what is the event that triggered his intent to end his life?

3. According to the doctors in the second scene of Act 3, how has Jim been behaving?

4. How is the convalescent ward compared to a prison sentence?

5. What does the time period in which the play was written have to do with why Jim felt the way that he did?

6. How might Harry be able to help Jim, and why doesn't he?

7. Who is Tom and what is the purpose for his visit in Act 3, Scene 3?

8. Why is the conversation between Jim and Ann in Act 1, Scene 3 significant?

9. What is Jim's state of mind in Act 1, Scene 1, and what does he admit to?

10. Who is Harry, what is he like, and how does Jim respond to him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Harry visits Jim and provides a suggestion that leads to Jim's release from the hospital.

1) Describe Harry and his character traits in detail. How are they different than Jim's? In what way does Harry's priorities dictate his actions and cause him to become weaker?

2) What can Harry do to help Jim? Why does he instead choose to see his brother suffer? Which characteristics of Harry prevent him from standing up to Ann?

3) What is the plan that Harry suggests to Jim and why does the author choose him to introduce it? Why has Jim not thought of this before?

Essay Topic 2

Describe Jim's theory about life and death and why he does not view his suicide attempt as selfish. Analyze his thought process and whether or not it is valid. Also, explain his ideas about mourning and how they show a larger problem for him and the way he looks at life. Use examples from the play to analyze Jim's theory and what part it played in his eventual captivity.

Essay Topic 3

The first scene features Jim being admitted into the hospital in a manner that foreshadows future events.

1) How is Jim first introduced and what are the circumstances around his hospital visit? What is the significance of the way he is brought in and the explanation given at his arrival? How do the doctors attempt to gain information from him and what does he provide them with? Why is this important to the plot?

2) Describe the letter that is referred to in the first scene and why it is a clue that becomes more substantial later in the play.

(see the answer keys)

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