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. During which decade is the story set?

2. Who does Mary Ann first tell that she is thinking of moving back to Cleveland?

3. In "Relating at Lunch," what does Beauchamp reveal to Mary Ann?

4. In "Anguish in Bohemia," what does Beauchamp remember while he is having a drink with his friend Peter?

5. Where does Beauchamp invite Mary Ann?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Mary Ann consider moving back to Cleveland and what changes her mind?

2. Which other significant character does Mary Ann meet at Social Safeway?

3. What does Mona tell Mary Ann to try to convince her to stay in San Francisco?

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

5. How does Mrs. Madrigal welcome Mary Ann to 28 Barbary Lane?

6. How does Mary Ann feel after her weekend in Mendocino with Beauchamp?

7. Briefly compare the two women in Edgar's life, Ruby Miller and Frannie.

8. Discuss Mary Ann's initial reaction to the lifestyle in San Francisco.

9. Why do neither Mary Ann nor Connie think they will stay in touch when Mary Ann moves out?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the overall style of the book, "Tales of the City." Make sure your answer includes the following:

1. How the short chapters contribute to the style.

2. The chapters alternate between different characters. How does this impact the style of the book?

3. Many chapters have cliffhanger endings. How does this impact the style of the book?

Essay Topic 2

Explore the symbolism of parrots in the novel. What do parrots symbolize? How do parrots impact the novel? Give specific examples from the book to support your discussion and make sure that you define symbolism in the essay.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the several layers of meaning of the name of the pick up joint in "Brian Climbs the Walls," the Come Clean Laundromat. How is the name ironic? How does the name signify the reason that people go there?

(see the answer keys)

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