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. What does Bukowski think the young men in The Big Pot Game do with the language they copy?

2. What singer is Bukowski listening to in I Shot a Man in Reno?

3. In Flower Horse, what does Bukowski observe on the racetrack coupled with frivolity?

4. What place does Bukowski describe in Purple as an Iris?

5. How does the boy respond to the old man in Night Streets of Madness?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Bukowski feel next to Jim in I Shot a Man in Reno?

3. What does Bukowski hallucinate, and what is it associated with in The Blanket?

4. How does Bukowski's obsession with death and sex show up in Notes of a Potential Suicide?

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

6. What does Tina represent in One for Walter Lowenfels?

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

8. What does the first woman in A Rain of Women remind Bukowski of?

9. What does the murder of Carol's zoo in Animal Crackers in My Soup represent?

10. Describe the woman in One for Walter Lowenfels.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Though all his stories are about humans, Bukowski continues to display how inhumane man can be, and "Love it or Leave it" displays the brutality of man. What acts of brutality or displayed in the story? Give at least two examples. Which act of brutality was the worst, and why? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

"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.

(see the answer keys)

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