Telling Secrets 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. In the Introduction, who does the author quote regarding the definition for "story" versus "plot?"

2. How many failed marriages did the author's mother have after his father died?

3. "For the last ____ years" of her life, the author's mother saw almost no one except immediate family.

4. On what street was the apartment in which the author's mother died?

5. In what month during1936 did the author's father commit suicide?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the author write "The Wizard's Tide" and what differs in the book from his childhood memory of his father's death?

2. What is the setting of the author's dream about his mother?

3. How did author's mom respond to his fictionalized version of his father's death and how did her reaction to this fist telling affect the author's writing about the death later?

4. How does the author describe his father's suicide?

5. Why is the author exempt from the Wheaton College pledge?

6. What dream did the author have about a hotel?

7. What did the author deal with in first two autobiographies?

8. Who is Brendan the Navigator and what does he convey about the kingdom of God?

9. Who is Naya?

10. Describe the author's mother's bedroom in her 79th street apartment.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Who is Dudley Knott? What challenges did he overcome? What types of work did he do? How did he become acquainted with the author? Why was the author astonished and delighted to know Knott? How did Knott die?

Essay Topic 2

What happened in the author's dream about a hotel (provide details)? What did the room come to mean to the author? In reality what represented Eden to the author and why?

Essay Topic 3

The author's mother is quoted in Part One of the book as saying, "If I didn't have something to look for, I would be lost." Answer either A or B.

A. Why does she make this statement? Discuss the significance of the mother losing her beauty and trying to find it daily with her make-up and other enhancements, in relation to her state of mind, her health, and her relationship with her sons and her caregivers/friends.

B. Why does the author describe the statement as one of his mother's "most shimmering utterances?" How does this theme of "lost and found" play out throughout the details of the author's life described in the book - his family (mom and brother, wife and kids), friends, students?

(see the answer keys)

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