Tales of Ordinary Madness Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Whose birthday is it towards the end of One for Walter Lowenfels?

2. In One for Walter Lowenfels, what does the woman believe in?

3. In Purple as an Iris, who discovers Bukowski and the woman?

4. What is the name of Bukowski's neighbor in The Blanket?

5. What do the two young men reply to Bukowski when he asks for a cigarette in The Big Pot Game?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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

"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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