Slaughterhouse-Five 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 Billy do the night before his daughter's wedding?

2. What does the hobo in Billy's railroad boxcar tell him?

3. What does the Tralfamadoran compare a moment in time to?

4. What is Billy's position in the war?

5. What was Mackay's opinion about the Children's Crusade?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Billy afraid to drop down from the railroad car?

2. Why were the British officers in this particular camp?

3. What parts of Ilium remind Billy of the ruined towns in World War II?

4. Where does Billy wake up after falling asleep with the other prisoners in the stone cottage?

5. Why do the Tralfamadorans not believe in free will?

6. What did Kurt Vonnegut learn about the bombing of Dresden when he wrote to the Air Force for details?

7. What happened to the army scouts who left Billy and Roland behind?

8. How does Billy describe the Tralfamadorans?

9. What was the Children's Crusade?

10. Where does Billy time travel to when the spaceship hits a time warp?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay explaining one of more of the symbols in this novel. Choose the symbol you want to comment on from the list below, or come up with your own.

a) Billy's outfit (silver boots, blue toga, fur muff)

b) Landscapes (the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns)

c) Death symbols (the coffin-shaped wagon)

d) The souvenirs kept by the Americans after the war.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay comparing Slaughterhouse-Five with another novel or book describing events from World War II. Pick one of the following topics as a focus in your essay:

a) Realism about the war.

b) Symbolism.

c) How personal experiences affect writing.

d) The author's attitude toward war.

Essay Topic 3

How does luck figure into Billy's Pilgrim's life? Is he a lucky person or an unlucky person? Use examples from the novel to argue your thesis.

(see the answer keys)

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