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. Why does Mel feel guilty on his honeymoon?

2. When do Mel and Lyla marry?

3. What does Mel say to Jeffrey about Jeffrey's feelings of guilt?

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

5. What image does Mel have in his mind from Noni's words?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does White decide to go to Fuller Theological Seminary?

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

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

4. What is Mel's memories of a boy named Darrel at camp?

5. Whom does Mel consider himself a child of as far as religion is concerned?

6. How does Mel try to avoid being discovered as being gay?

7. Who is Jeffrey S. and what is his story?

8. How does Mel describe his grandmother Noni as far as religion is concerned?

9. Describe Mel's brief involvement with Ted.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Define irony in literary terms. Discuss the irony of the situation whereby Mel White is a homosexual and works to promote the agendas of men such as Falwell who were rabidly anti-gay. Discuss two other incidences of irony in Stranger at the Gate.

2. Define symbolism in literary terms. Discuss the use of and meaning of five symbols found in Stranger at the Gate. Symbols are inherent in any work of literature, whether fiction or non-fiction, though in non-fiction, the use of symbols is not always intentional.

3. Discuss the use of foreshadowing in non-fiction. What is the purpose of foreshadowing in non-fiction? Cite 3 examples of foreshadowing and how it is indicates events to come in Stranger at the Gate. Can you as the reader see how what Mel White writes about his early life foreshadows what will happen in his later life?

Essay Topic 2

Stranger at the Gate takes place predominantly in the 1950s--1980s in California and Texas. Discuss the following:

1. Research and discuss the religious climate and theology of mainstream Christianity during the 1950s--1980s. How do you think the religious milieu informs the life of Mel White? Explain.

2. Discuss the lives of White and his social group in light of Christianity of that time. Do their behaviors seem consistent with the basic doctrines of Christianity?

3. How do you think Mel's life would be different if he were a teenager today?

4. How important do you think it is to understand the setting of a book? Explain.

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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