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 happens at the end of Beers and Poets and Talk?

2. In Purple as an Iris, what does Bukowski sell?

3. When does one particular pest call Bukowski?

4. What delusion does Bukowski have of tiny men in The Blanket?

5. What is the name of the song that Bukowski is listening to in I Shot a Man in Reno?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Bukowski think of citizens today in A Bad Trip?

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

4. Describe the woman in One for Walter Lowenfels.

5. Why is the idea that every man can be a pest scary in Notes on the Pest?

6. In Flower Horse, what do the track and gambling represent?

7. How do the older men contrast with the younger ones in The Big Pot Game?

8. What does Bukowski think of current poets and comic strips in Eyes Like the Sky?

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

10. What is different about Beer and Poets and Talk than the other short stories in Tales of Ordinary Madness?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many stories in "Tales of Ordinary Madness" involve a serious addiction to gambling. Using at least two stories as examples, describe how gambling play a role in the main characters' lives. Describe the cycle of addiction. How does gambling affect the characters' lives? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the stories.

Essay Topic 2

"Notes on the Pest" focuses mainly on Bukowski's fans and his relationship with them. How would you describe his relationship with his fans, and how do you think his fans would describe it? You may use examples or evidence from other stories that describe his relationship with his fans.

Essay Topic 3

"Eyes Like the Sky" serves as something of a rant for Bukowski, and he complains about the state of comic strips and poets today. Describe what Bukowski thinks of current poetry and comic strips. Why does he have this opinion on these mediums? What does he see for the future of these mediums? Make sure you answer each question with evidence and support from the story.

(see the answer keys)

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