Tales of Ordinary Madness 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. In Great Poets Die in Steaming Pots of Shit, what does the man that approaches Bukowski do?

2. In Scenes from the Big Time, what does the narrator do all day?

3. What does the Too Sensitive narrator's girlfriend tell him about Benny Adimson?

4. In Doing Time with Public Enemy No. 1, what does Bukowski's non-English speaking cell mate do?

5. Where does Bukowski stay one summer?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the girlfriend insult her boyfriend in Too Sensitive?

2. How is the foreman in Love it or Leave it cruel?

3. Describe the moral code of prison in Scenes from the Big Time.

4. Why does Signo fire Skorski in The Stupid Christs?

5. What is Harry driven by in Reunion?

6. What does Bukowski think of revolution in contrast to Maxie in A Quiet Conversation Piece?

7. In Great Poets Die in Steaming Pots of Shit, how does Bukowski feel about his fans, and why?

8. What kind of relationships does Bukowski form in My Stay in the Poet's Cottage?

9. Describe the character of Henry Chinasky in Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?.

10. What is the fan's fault in thinking, according to Bukowski in Great Poets Die in Steaming Pots of Shit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

As the title indicates, "Too Sensitive" contains the theme of sensitivity. Describe the way sensitivity is displayed in the story. How does the narrator suffer from his own kind of sensitivity despite his thinking that he is not sensitive? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

Essay Topic 2

In Tales or Ordinary Madness, "A .45 to Pay the Rent" and "Doing Time with Public Enemy No. 1" are two different stories about men in some kind of prison. How is Bukowski different from Duke, personality-wise? How do they deal with their different trials in life, and who do you think handles their "imprisonment" better? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the stories.

Essay Topic 3

"Notes on the Pest" focuses mainly on Bukowski's fans and his relationship with them. How would you describe his relationship with his fans, and how do you think his fans would describe it? You may use examples or evidence from other stories that describe his relationship with his fans.

(see the answer keys)

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