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. Hank has a dog named Occam. What kind of dog is Occam?

2. After meeting with Dickie Pope, Hank goes to see Bodie Pie. What is her position at the college?

3. Why is one of Hank's daughters concerned about her mother going out of town for an interview?

4. Who is the goose named after?

5. Why does this new center on campus bother Hank?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. The morning after his news debut, Hank realizes the film has been shown on Good Morning, America, much to everyone's amusement. Hank heads to see Campbell Wheemer. What is Hank's nickname for Wheemer? Why does he call him that? How is Wheemer a contrast to Hank?

5. Who does Hank meet after he leaves his friend's house? What is his reaction to this?

6. When Hank gets back to his office, after meeting with Bodie, what does he tell his secretary? What does Rachel tell him and what does Hank do about this?

7. After Hank leaves Bodie Pie's office, what does he notice is happening again?

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose two characters in the book that play an important role in Hank's life and discuss their characteristics and the importance of their relationship with Hank. Cite three specific examples for each character from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Hank as the protagonist in Straight Man. What is the definition of protagonist? Discuss both Hank's positive and negative characteristics, and give three examples of each to show how they influence the actions he takes and the decisions he makes.

Essay Topic 3

Conflict is a common element of writing, in both fiction and nonfiction. Why is conflict so often used in narratives? How can it help add interest to a narrative? Give four examples where conflict in "Straight Man" occurs and how the examples helps explain the dynamics of one week in the life of Hank Devereaux. Include and identify at least one of each type of conflict that occurs in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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