State of Wonder Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ann Patchett
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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. Why does Fox think Swenson will listen to Marina?

2. How does Milton inadvertently prove the Bovenders to be lying?

3. What shakes up Barbara?

4. What is the Bovenders' connection with Dr. Swenson?

5. How does Marina feel in the opera box after the discovery that Dr. Swenson is there?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Marina and Fox go to talk with Karen Eckman?

2. What does the letter from Dr. Swenson say about Anders Eckman?

3. What does Marina tell Fox when she calls him the night after the opera and what is his reply?

4. What is Fox concerned about and how is his concern proven to be valid?

5. What does Marina deduce about Dr. Swenson and the Lakashi tribe?

6. What do the Bovenders argue concerning Swenson and Vogel?

7. Describe the conversation at the cafe between Marina and Dr. Swenson about Anders.

8. What is Marina and Fox's relationship like and how does he act when he comes to her house the night before she leaves?

9. What does Milton say to Marina about the Bovenders?

10. What does Karen say to Marina when Marina stops by to say goodbye?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think State of Wonder is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by State of Wonder. Questions that Patchett most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Patchett' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Patchett' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Patchett and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

State of Wonder belongs to the mystery genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the mystery genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a mystery and a historical novel?

(see the answer keys)

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