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. What does Maisie's brother offer Maisie and Mac in Los Angeles?

2. What does Johnny ask Annabelle when they spend time together?

3. When Mac's Uncle Tim dies, what does Mac do that angers his wife?

4. What is the opening newsreel clip about?

5. Where does Fainy take the boxes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Johnny do for work, and why does he move to Ocean City?

2. What could Maisie have done to keep Mac in Los Angeles with her?

3. How does Mac learn independence?

4. After meeting Ben Evans, what does Mac decide?

5. What effect did Uncle Tim have on Mac?

6. What do you learn about Mac's personality through his choices in pages. 62-84?

7. Describe Johnny Ward Morehouse.

8. What is the only question that Fainy asks about his job?

9. Who is Alice, and what effect does she have on Janey?

10. What decision does Mac make regarding Maisie and her pregnancy?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

The working class American is an important figure of John Dos Passos' work. In the 42nd Parallel, Dos Passos tracks the gritty lives of the working and middle class Americans with whom he identifies. Before the New Deal, what was the biggest struggle for working class Americans? Does John dos Passos offer realistic and insightful characterizations and descriptions of early 20th century life in the United States? Explain your thoughts.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 976 words
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