Spartina Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

John Casey (novelist)
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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 do Dick and Elsie do at Elsie's house?

2. Why does Dick go to Miss Perry's house in Chapter 29?

3. What does Elsie do in the crow's nest?

4. What is particularly notable about the whelps?

5. Where is Parker?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Dick's internal struggle regarding needing people and not wanting to appear that he does?

2. What is the premise of SPARTINA?

3. What does Parker's cunning behavior begin to signify?

4. Describe Dick's experience when he goes to Miss Perry's house to thank her for the loan.

5. How does the author show that May is probably aware of Dick's affair with Elsie?

6. How does the author use irony in the scenario on the dock with the cops and the drug-sniffing dog?

7. What is Dick's internal conflict about working for others to get the funds necessary to finish his boat?

8. What are the differences between how May and Elsie view Dick's boat project?

9. How does Dick misread the message that Elsie sends when she tells him to leave her with the secret of their affair?

10. Explain Dick's thoughts as he begins to understand the complications of the drug smuggling situation with Parker.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Striving takes on an almost human persona in this story. What is this literary technique called? Cite examples that support this position.

Essay Topic 2

Create a brief character study of Dick. What does he look like? What are his positive personality traits? What are some of his negative characteristics? What are his hopes and fears? What motivates him--if anything--at this point in his life?

Essay Topic 3

There is much symbolism in this story regarding the spartina growing in the area of Rhode Island. What does the spartina symbolize for the story? What does it symbolize for Dick in particular?

(see the answer keys)

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