Swan Song Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Robert R. McCammon
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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. Alvin and his followers force Josh to play a game called _________.

2. Swan describes her sensation of creatures and plants "hurting" as _______.

3. What state do Sister and Artie go to after fleeing from Doyle?

4. What does "the man who likes movies" do with Sister Creep's crucifix?

5. What does Paul plan to do when the batteries and food run out?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Roland, Macklin, and Warner plan to gain access to Earth House's emergency stores? How successful is their plan?

2. What are Macklin's first actions as the new ruler of the Salt Lake settlement?

3. What special powers does the glass ring exhibit as Sister and her group begin to use it?

4. What unusual sight does Josh witness as he and Swan continue to search for a way out of PawPaw's shelter?

5. Describe the problem that occurs at Earth House just after the nuclear attacks begin.

6. Why does Sister decide to continue to Kansas?

7. What does Roland do for Colonel Macklin?

8. What unusual abilities does Swan seem to possess?

9. What is the strategy of the United States to prevent further advances by the USSR?

10. What does Doyle do to the members of Sister's group and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the novel, the President of the united states is obsessed with fire. He says that mankind has always been obsessed with it, and he becomes obsessed with it himself. Fire recurs throughout the novel as a powerful symbol, being particularly associated with Friend. Near the end of the novel, it is revealed that the former President intends to activate a doomsday device that melts the ice caps, which is another use of fire for destructive ends.

1) Discuss the President's interest in and obsession with fire as a symbol. Explain what causes this obsession and how it affects him after the nuclear blasts.

2) Cite examples from the book to describe how fire is associated with Friend. What theme does the author establish through the use of this association?

3) Describe other uses of fire as a symbol in the novel, including Rusty's saying of "fighting fire with fire."

4) Explain what fire is intended to represent in the novel, and how this concept stands contrary to what the protagonists are trying to achieve.

Essay Topic 2

When the Job's Masks begin to form on people's faces, there is massive discrimination against the afflicted. Innocents like Swan are treated extremely poorly, and some people, like Macklin and Roland, go to great lengths to conceal their affliction. While this treatment is terrible, it is at least marginally understandable. The masks are terrible to look at, and the survivors in the post-blast world have little time for tolerance and acceptance.

1) Describe the Job's Masks and explain why people discriminate against those who carry them. Explain some common beliefs about the masks that survivors hold in the time before their true function becomes widely known.

2) Discuss the ways that various people discriminate against those afflicted with the masks, including the intense persecution that Macklin lays against them.

3) Explain the way that many of the afflicted feel about their treatment, citing specific examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Near the end of the novel, Friend admits that his goal is to destroy the human spirit.

1) Explain what is meant by the human spirit in the context of the novel.

2) Explain why Friend wants to destroy the human spirit and the world that would exist if he succeeded.

3) Discuss ways that the human spirit is degraded or strengthened throughout the novel, and explain how these ends are achieved.

4) Describe Swan's impact on the strength of the human spirit in other individuals and communities.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 999 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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