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. Annabelle and Johnny begin to take _________________together.

2. When Mac stays at a Y.M.C.A., where does he lock his money?

3. With whom does Johnny meet at the Ocean City Improvement and Realty Company?

4. Who walks along a cobblestone path in the Camera Eye segment?

5. Why did Johnny have to give up on his college in his second year?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Charley eager to leave Fargo?

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

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

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

5. What does Ike do that leaves Mac stranded?

6. Describe Johnny Ward Morehouse.

7. How did Janey become the personal secretary of J. Ward Moorehouse?

8. Describe Mac's life as a child.

9. How does Mac act in a similar fashion in Mexico City as he did in California?

10. What kind of personality does Janey have?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The 42nd Parallel is written from the third-person point of view where the narrator is an outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. This narrator can tell us what is happening, but he cannot tell us the thoughts of the characters. This method allows the author to establish the setting and to supply background information to the reader about people, places, and events. Is this method effective? Why or why not? Would a first-person narrative be more or less appealing? Describe.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of women in the early part of the twentieth century when the women in the 42nd Parallel are living their lives. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do they have? What freedoms do they have, if any, that 21st century women do not have?

(see the answer keys)

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