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 Fainy meet Bingham after saying goodbye to his family?

3. What individual is mentioned in pages 85-103 of the News Reel for being shot for his revolutionary activities?

4. Whose death forces Mac's family to move to Chicago?

5. Who is the lawyer that stays in touch with Janey even after he leaves the firm?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Ike teach Mac?

3. What happens when Fainy and Bingham ride the train to Michigan?

4. What happens on the train ride to Chicago that Mac takes?

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

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

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

8. Describe Johnny Ward Morehouse.

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

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

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 loss. Identify at least two themes about loss in the 42nd Parallel. Then cite an example to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Pregnancy is an issue that arises in many of the stories of the 42nd Parallel. How is Maisie's pregnancy different from the pregnancy of Annabelle or Emsecah? How do the male partners in these different situations respond? Do they stick by the women or run? How is marriage thus portrayed as a result? Do you find these views pessimistic? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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