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. What is the name of one of the boys who teases Mr. Sneed?

2. In Goodbye Watson, what does the narrator say that the track teaches him?

3. In Goodbye Watson, what athlete does the narrator have success with?

4. How does Bukowski feel after being charged with rape?

5. In Love it or Leave It, what does Bukowski find to sleep in?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does the boyfriend choose to interpret his girlfriend's insult in Too Sensitive?

3. What does Bukowski realize in the jail cell in No Stockings?

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

5. Describe the character of Signo in The Stupid Christs.

6. How do pain and violence play a role in Nut Ward East of Hollywood?

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

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

9. What does Bukowski say to Vera when she asks him if she is too fat in No Stockings?

10. How does Mr. Sneed view death in A Dollar and 20 Cents?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many different ideas and themes are connected in Tales of Ordinary Madness, but "Notes of a Potential Suicide" reveals connections that are more obvious. What connections are revealed in the story? How is the symphony connected to the Air Show event? What makes them memorable or important for Bukowski? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

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

"Animal Crackers in My Soup" has an abrupt and somewhat unusual conclusion. What happens in the conclusion? What does the baby represent? Why does the story end the way it does? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

(see the answer keys)

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