Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Mel White
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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. How does White feel about marrying Lyla?

2. What does Mel's first film concern?

3. What does Mel not know the origins of?

4. What does Mel believe about himself while in college?

5. Upon what basis does Mel say homosexuality is attacked today?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jim Morgan broaden White's understanding of God?

2. What does White say is Martin Luther King's belief about Christian involvement in social change, and how does White feel about his response?

3. How does Lyla become a Christian?

4. From where does Mel say his self hatred arose?

5. Describe how Mel and Lyla met.

6. Why does Mel think his grandmother Noni was so zealous?

7. Where does White begin meeting gay men, and who is the "Dr. Smith" that White meets this way?

8. Who is Peter W.? What does White write about the young man?

9. What happens to Mel's younger brother Denny?

10. What does White relate about Falwell and civil rights?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful work of non-fiction/memoir?

2. Analyze and discuss Stranger at the Gate based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if Stranger at the Gate is a successful work of non-fiction/memoir.

3. Is Stranger at the Gate a book you would recommend to a friend? Why or why not? Explain.

4. Can a novel be successful and yet many readers not enjoy it? Explain your response.

Essay Topic 2

Mel White considers himself a child of the Religious Right, raised in evangelical nondenominational churches by an incredibly devout family, always in the thick of the evangelical movement. Discuss the following:

1. Research the history of the religious right in the United States and write an informative essay of what you learned.

2. Write an argument/persuasive essay on the following question: Is being a religious fanatic better than having no beliefs?

3. How reliable do you think Mel White is as a narrator when it comes to his perception of the religious right? Discuss fully using examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Though Stranger at the Gate is a non-fiction memoir, it has some of the characteristics of a bildungsroman. Discuss the following:

1. Define Bildungsroman, or "Coming of Age," and give several examples from literature you have read.

2. Trace and analyze the character of Mel as he changes from a rather naive boy to a more self aware man. What are the significant events that change Mel White?

3. After thoroughly analyzing Mel's growth, do you think Stranger at the Gate could be considered Mel's Coming of Age story? Why or why not?

4. Are there any other persons in Stranger at the Gate who go through a Coming of Age experience? Who? Why do you think so?

(see the answer keys)

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