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. Who made no new friends while living in New York for almost twenty years?

3. What is the title of the first autobiography written by the author?

4. In "The Last Battle", who stoops and touches the dwarves with his tongue?

5. How many years after his father's suicide did the author write "The Return of Ansel Gibbs?"

Short Essay Questions

1. What illness did the author's daughter have and how did it affect her?

2. What is the most sacred function of memory?

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

4. How is the author's story, our story?

5. How did the author's mother's aging affect her sons' lives?

6. 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?

7. Why/how does the author identify with one of the stained glass images?

8. According to the author, how does memory help us finish with the past?

9. What did the author say he would deal with in this autobiography "Telling Secrets?"

10. What was on the stained glass pieces in the author's office?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author talks about the pluralism of Harvard Divinity School. What makes Harvard pluralistic (as described by the author)? What happens in the author's Harvard classroom that helps him conclude that pluralism can become factionalism? What is factionalism (as presented in the book)?

Essay Topic 2

Explain what the author means when he writes that by watching and listening we are praying. How does God speak to us in quietness? What is "God's place" in us? What deadens us to God's presence within us? How does Psalm 131 illustrate these points from the author?

Essay Topic 3

After the author's mother-in-law dies, he and his wife spend time in Florida, where he begins seeing another therapist. How does this therapy help him forgive and understand his father? His mother? What did the author dream about that helped this process? What did the author realize he had passed on to his kids after going through this process?

(see the answer keys)

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