What We Talk About When We Talk About Love 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 is the cause of the old man's depression?

2. Mel claims he loved:

3. Who threatens to kill Mel?

4. What hits the old couple's car?

5. Who bumps Nick's knee under the table?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Terri scold Mel for being insensitive?

2. What was the prognosis for the old couple over the course of their hospitalization?

3. Describe the setting at the end of the story.

4. Where are the characters in the story from?

5. Describe the interaction between Mel and Terri surrounding Mel's ex-wife.

6. What is Mel feeling as he describes the old man's love, who senses this, and what is his or her response?

7. Why does Terri hope that Marjorie will remarry or die?

8. What relationship does Mel have to the old man in the hospital?

9. Why is it ironic that Mel is a cardiologist by profession?

10. How long have Nick and Laura been married in comparison to Terri and Mel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Authors often use setting, including the time of day, to communicate an important message about the story. The setting can have a significant impact on the tone and mood of a story.

Part 1) Discuss the clues Carver gives readers as to the time of day as the story unfolds.

Part 2) Why does Carver choose this particular time of day as a setting for a story about love?

Part 3) Pick a time of day (or night) different from the actual one in the story and discuss how the story would have been different had it been set during this time.

Essay Topic 2

Mel is a significant character in this story due to his monopolization of the conversation.

Part 1) Discuss the dynamics of Mel's character throughout the course of the story. Does he change much? Why or why not?

Part 2) Do the other characters in the story seem to like or dislike Mel? How can you tell?

Part 3) What are your opinions toward Mel by the end of the story? Do you like him or dislike him?

Essay Topic 3

A resolution is often included in literature to give the reader a sense of closure. What is the resolution in this story? Discuss whether it adequately resolves the situation and why you think that way. What could the author have done differently?

(see the answer keys)

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