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. Hank wants some information from Jacob when they meet for lunch. What is Jacob's response?

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

4. Hank meets a young woman on his way home from his racquetball partner's place. What does she say to him that Hank agrees with?

5. What are the names of Hank's daughters?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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. When Hank gets home from his visit to Julie, he has a conversation with Billy Quigley. What are Billy's characteristics and what is the conversation about?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. What kinds of thoughts does Wheemer generate in Hank?

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does Hank relate the anecdote about his childhood dog so that it blends the adult Hank and the young Hank? If "the child is the father of the man", what was it about Hank's childhood that contributed to how the adult Hank views the world?

Essay Topic 2

Tone refers to the attitude of the narrator of a work. As the narrator of "Straight Man", what is the author's tone at different stages of the book? Explain the tone, with examples:

1) In the Prologue of Book One.

2) When he grabs Finny the Goose by the neck and holds him up for the television camera.

3) When he catches his son-in-law with Meg Quigley.

4) In the Epilogue.

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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