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. What happens to Denny while Mel is still in college?

2. What does Mel now consider his feelings of love for another man?

3. Whom does Mel meet on his and Lyla's honeymoon?

4. What does Mel use in order to cure his homosexuality?

5. By whom was a friend of Mel's murdered?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Mel and Lyla's relationship develop?

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

4. Describe Mel's brief involvement with Ted.

5. What happens to White's career in the 1970s?

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

7. What do White and Lyla do when they return from their honeymoon?

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

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

10. Why does Mel not think it was unethical of him to marry Lyla when he returns from the Choir tour?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Stranger at the Gate is a memoir by Mel White. Discuss the following:

1. Define the word "genre" in the context of literary criticism.

2. Why do you think literature is categorized by genre?

3. Does it help to know how a book is categorized as to its genre before reading it? Explain.

4. Memoir used to be considered inferior to what are considered "the classics." Why do you think this is so? Do you believe a book such as Stranger at the Gate is inferior to something such as A Tale of Two Cities? Explain.

5. What is your favorite genre and why?

Essay Topic 2

Gossip and rumors are found throughout Something Wonderful. Discuss the following:

1. What is one piece of gossip that you think is started maliciously? Who starts it? Why? Does it end up harming the person it is intended to harm? Why or why not? What effect does the gossip have on the person the gossip is about? What effect does the gossip have on one other character?

2. What is one piece of gossip that you think is started intentionally to help someone? Who starts it? Why? Does it end up helping or harming the person it is intended to help? Explain. What effect does the gossip have on the person the gossip is about? What effect does the gossip have on one other character?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of gossip as it is woven throughout Something Wonderful. Is the gossip always harmful? What are the motivations of those who start and perpetuate the gossip? What are the effects of the gossip?

4. Why do you think people gossip?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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