Tales of the City 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. When Brian first invites Mary Ann to join him for a joint after her shift at the switchboard, how does she react?

2. Edgar's father changes the family name from __________ to Halcyon.

3. Where is Beauchamp when DeDe calls Binky to ask for the name of a doctor?

4. What does Edgar think is the reason Williams called him about Mrs. Madrigal?

5. When she returns home after finding Vincent dead, who does Mary Ann visit?

Short Essay Questions

1. Briefly recount the events that lead Mary Ann to meet Norman Neal Williams.

2. Explain how DeDe's decision to have the baby marks the climax of her transformation.

3. Briefly recount the story that Mrs. Madrigal tells Edgar after they make love on his first visit to her home.

4. What happens when Mona tells Michael that she is moving out?

5. Edgar meets Beauchamp and tells him something in strictest confidence. What is the reader supposed to think that Edgar told him?

6. Briefly discuss the parallels between Frannie's Great Dane and Edgar.

7. Discuss DeDe's dilemma with regards to her pregnancy.

8. What happens to Mary Ann when she and Norman are in Chinatown after the movie?

9. What does Norman Neal Williams reveal to Mary Ann in the car during the trick or treating outing?

10. Upon returning to San Francisco, what does DeDe realize and what does she do about it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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 2

The one nuclear family in the book include the Halcyons: Edgar, Frannie, DeDe, and Beauchamp (by marriage). How does the author portray this family? Based on this portrayal, what can the reader infer about the author's view of family?

Essay Topic 3

How does the author build on the mystery surrounding the character of Mrs. Madrigal? What do readers know about her? What do we not know? How does the author use other characters to reveal pieces of the puzzle surrounding Mrs. Madrigal's character?

(see the answer keys)

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