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 does Dick think would improve the chances of catching swordfish?

2. What does May call Dick's boat?

3. Where do Dick and Eddie Wormsley go to buy materials?

4. What is Schuyler doing when Parker sees him the next morning?

5. What objects does Dick see in Miss Perry's house that are unsettling to him?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Dick feel about the fantasies that Elsie finds erotic?

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

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

5. Compare and contrast Dick and Elsie's positions regarding legal activities.

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

7. How does Dick justify the loss of his family's land by taking advantage of the relationships he has with wealthy people in the area?

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

9. What is revealed about Dick's leadership skills on the documentary trip?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the significance of the book's title. What did the author mean by calling the novel SPARTINA? Cite an example to support your answer.

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

SPARTINA is a classic story of man vs. nature. What does that classification entail? Why does this novel fit into this category? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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