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 Scenes from the Big Time, which inmate serves time in the hole?

2. What profession does Benny have?

3. In the story Great Poets Die in Steaming Pots of Shit, where does Bukowski work?

4. What saves Blaine from being raped?

5. Where is Frank Evans staying in An Evil Town?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Bukowski welcome death in A Popular Man?

2. What do Bukowski's visitors take away from him in A Popular Man?

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

4. Describe Duke's relationship with Lala in A .45 to Pay the Rent.

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

6. Describe the character of Frank Evans in An Evil Town.

7. What does the narrator say he will require of his creative writing students in Goodbye Watson?

8. Who is causing all the noise with the car horn in Night Streets of Madness, and why?

9. Describe Mr. Sneed in A Dollar and 20 Cents.

10. Why does Bukowski think that current poets and comic strips create their art the way they do?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

"Would You Suggest Writing as a Career?" and "The Great Zen Wedding" both contain characters who have an unusual view towards women. Describe the main characters' views of women from both stories. How do you explain the violent attitude toward women in both stories? What does each character hope to achieve by gaining control over women? What do you make of the women's responses to his overtures? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the stories.

Essay Topic 2

"Beer and Poets and Talk" displays Bukowski talking about literature freely, which is a rare instance in this collection of stories. What are Bukowski's thoughts on literature, and what does he think of it in comparison to reality? Why does he emphasize either literature or reality over the other? What does the arguing couple remind him of? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

Essay Topic 3

"Rape! Rape!" is a story in which human and animalistic traits run rampant. How do the characters exhibit animalistic behaviors? When does the human trait of lying appear, and how does it appear? Why does Bukowski become so confused after Vera lies? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

(see the answer keys)

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