Tales of Ordinary Madness Test | Final 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 Note of a Potential Suicide, what event does Bukowksi remember attending as a boy?

2. Why does Bukowski hate the woman who has entered the shop in A Rain of Women?

3. In A Popular Man, who does a man tell Bukowski that his wife has been having an affair with?

4. What friend does Bukowski visit in I shot a man in Reno?

5. Of what kind of group have the boys in The Big Pot Game copied their language from?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bukowski think of people's taste in music?

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

4. What else does Bukowski realize about himself when he sees Luke in I Shot a Man in Reno?

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

6. What does Bukowski think of sex in Purple as an Iris?

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

8. Why does Bukowski cry after burning the blanket in The Blanket?

9. What happens when Bukowski is discovered with Mary in Purple as an Iris?

10. What is ironic about Bukowski's observations in A Bad Trip?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One recurring theme in Tales of Ordinary Men is balance between life and literature. Describe Bukowski's ideas on life and literature from at least two stories from the collection. Which is more important to him, and why? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the stories.

Essay Topic 2

"An Evil Town" displays many acts of filth or "evil" with one seemingly righteous character seeing it all. Does Frank Evans turn out to be as righteous as he seems? Why or why not? Which act of hypocrisy is the strongest? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

Essay Topic 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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