The 42nd Parallel 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. When Mac is a child, what is he afraid of?

2. Where does Janey's father go for treatment for cancer?

3. In the Camera Eye section of the News Reel, what is Mr. Garfied reading from while traveling on a frigate to foreign lands?

4. What does Fainy discover when he is waiting for Mannie Bingham?

5. Janey plans on moving after high school with her friend ______________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Annabelle Marie Strang, and why is she important to Johnny?

2. Why does Johnny have to leave college?

3. Why do the rancher and his wife not approve of Mac?

4. Where does Mac live with Maisie and what is their relationship?

5. Where does Janey work in Washington DC? What knowledge does she acquire?

6. What happens at the theater? What does Mac do?

7. What happens when Mac reaches the rancher's house?

8. What does Ike do that leaves Mac stranded?

9. Describe Janey.

10. Describe Mac's life as a child.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author uses more than one iteration on the theme of discontentment in the 42nd Parallel. Identify at least two characters who either embody or experience discontentment. Cite an example to support your answers.

Essay Topic 2

John Dos Passos offers a compelling narrative told in an unorthodox and experimental fashion using "Newsreels" with blaring headlines, autobiographical "Camera Eye" sections with poetic stream-of-consciousness, and "biographies" evoking emblematic historical figures like J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, John Reed, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thorstein Veblen, and the Unknown Soldier. Do you find this style interesting to read? Are you able to follow the story line easily, or are these changes erratic and confusing for you as a reader? Does John dos Passos offer powerful storytelling that holds your attention? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Politics play a significant role throughout the entire book. In the 42nd Parallel, John dos Passos asks and sometimes offers occasional answers to big philosophical questions about the role and rights of workers in society, the equality of men and women, and important figures of the early 20th century. Do you find John dos Passos' arguments convincing? Why or why not? Do any of his characters show strong political opinions and, if so, about what? Describe.

(see the answer keys)

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