Straight Man 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. Why is Hank's colleague Teddy driving him home after a staff meeting in Chapter 1?

2. Herbert Schonberg is a teaching colleague of Hank's. What other position does he hold?

3. Bodie tells Hank that she is being informed by someone who should watch his back. Who is this individual?

4. What does Hank grab and hold up, swearing that he will kill a duck every day until the Railton College departments get more funding?

5. What nickname does Hank's mother give him as a child?

Short Essay Questions

1. What events transpired after the dog arrived at the Devereaux home?

2. After visiting with Mr. Purty and then his mother, Hank plays racquetball with another professor, Tony Coniglia. What happens after their game?

3. What did Hank's mother make Hank promise to do if he got a dog? Why?

4. What is the narrator, Hank's, full name and what is his occupation? Where does he work?

5. Hank goes to see Dickie Pope. Who is Pope and what nickname does the staff give to his office? What does Hank do in his office? What does Pope hint to Hank?

6. After having lunch at the bowling alley, Hank goes to see his mother, but first visits with Mr. Purty. Who is Mr. Purty and what does he give Hank?

7. What did Henry, as his parents called him, really want when he was a child? How did he go about convincing them to fulfill his dream?

8. In the Prologue, how does Hank explain that his life was not easy as a child?

9. What is near the construction site that catches Hank's attention? What does he do?

10. The morning after Hank is hit in the nose at a staff meeting, he walks across campus and notices a construction site. What will this site be and what does Hank think about it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Straight Man is a first person narrative, told from William Henry Devereaux (Hank)'s point-of-view. Briefly explain how the first person narrative is effective and how it is limited. Give four specific examples that show how the novel is effective being told from Hank's point of view, and how our understanding and appreciation of the novel's scenes are enhanced.

Essay Topic 2

Cite four examples for both exposition and rising action from the novel. What is the balance of these two elements in Straight Man? Is there too much of one at the expense of the other? If so, describe the balance of the two.

Essay Topic 3

Dialogue often serves to reveal characters and their traits, as well as events. It is often used as an alternative to exposition. How is dialogue used as a literary technique to move a narrative along, and specifically how is it utilized in Straight Man? Cite, in detail, one example of how dialogue is used effectively in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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