Tales of the City 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 does Mary Ann see in Mrs. Madrigal's bedroom?

2. With whom does Mary Ann stay while she finds her own apartment?

3. What does Jon do after Michael admits that he tries to make himself more attractive?

4. Where does Mary Ann volunteer?

5. How does Brian react when Hillary reveals that she thinks he is homosexual?

Short Essay Questions

1. Of what does Hillary accuse Brian? How does he react?

2. At Frannie's party, what happens to the conductor and where does he go?

3. Explain what happens when DeDe visits Mary Ann?

4. What happens that makes Michael admit to Jon that he is trying to make himself more attractive?

5. What does DeDe do after Splinter refuses her?

6. Briefly discuss the argument between Edgar and Mrs. Madrigal as regards Mona's employment.

7. Describe Mrs. Madrigal and Mary Ann's initial interaction.

8. What happens in Chapters 22 through 30 that shows how the narrative intersects the lives of its characters?

9. How is Mona's relationship with her mother different from her relationship with Mrs. Madrigal?

10. How does Edgar Halcyon describe himself?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of the chapter titles throughout the novel. Choose at least 3 chapter titles and explain their layers of meaning, providing examples from the book to support your statements.

Essay Topic 2

"Tales of the City" was originally published as a daily newspaper serial. Explore how the story fits the serial format versus the novel format. In what ways does the structure of the novel give away its beginning as a serial drama in a newspaper?

Essay Topic 3

How does the narrative intersect the lives of the characters in unexpected ways? Give at least two examples from the book. How does this interconnectedness contribute to the overall plot? Why do you think the author felt the need to connect all the characters?

(see the answer keys)

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