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 does Dickie Pope think Hank should do as he is advising?

2. What is near the center that is home to a large number of birds?

3. How does Hank feel about Bodie Pie?

4. Where does Hank go when he leaves the college after dealing with the people in his office?

5. After the news report with Hank airs at the bar, Hank goes to his racquetball partner's house with him and the reporter. What happens there?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Bodie Pie? What is the result of Hank's meeting with her?

2. 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?

3. The evening after Teddy drops Hank off at home, what does Hank decide to do? Where does he end up and what is the result of this?

4. When Hank gets home from the staff meeting, who is he greeted by? What does Hank find amusing about Teddy's reaction?

5. 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?

6. What does Hank say in the Prologue about his father's life after the arrival of the dog? What does he say about his relationship with his father?

7. When he was eight, Hank's father did get a dog for him. What was the dog like, where did Mr. Devereaux get it, and what was Hank's reaction? Why did he react that way?

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

9. Hank's news item is aired on television and he becomes something of a local hero to his colleagues. What is the first place Hank goes to that night? What is bothering him?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

In reference to the organization (plot) of "Straight Man":

(1) Why are the events of the novel arranged as they are?

(2) What moves the narrative along? Is it external action or internal conflicts? Or is it a combination of both? Support your answer with examples.

Essay Topic 3

What role does the Devereaux family play in the novel "Straight Man"? Are they as important to the narrative as the author and the environment he is in? Give four examples where the four different members of the family are central to the story-telling. Give four examples where the narrative is focused only on Hank and the environment he works in.

(see the answer keys)

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