The Ballad of the Sad Café 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 is the busiest night in Amelia's cafe?

2. What literary technique does McCullers use to tell this story?

3. In what month does the story take place?

4. What beverage does Miss Amelia offer the men in her home?

5. What is happening to Frances that Mr. Bilderbach is unaware of?

Short Essay Questions

1. With whom does Frances share the title of "wunderkind" and why does she think she cannot live up to the name?

2. What do the men think about Bitsy especially in light of the accident suffered by his good friend?

3. What is the dilemma the author writes about in the title of the story?

4. What literary technique does McCullers use in telling this story and what tone does she set in accomplishing it?

5. How does Cousin Lymon ultimately betray Amelia?

6. Why does Mr. Brook rationalize that Madame Zilensky has created a world of lies?

7. What is the setting for "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe?"

8. What does John's address book symbolize?

9. Why could Martin's children not eat the meal their mother had prepared for them earlier?

10. Explain the role of misfits in McCullers' work and how Cousin Lymon and Amelia both fall into that category.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is a classic story of love and betrayal. What does that classification entail? Why does this story fit into this category? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

The author uses more than one iteration on the theme of loss. Identify at least two themes about loss in the stories. Then cite an example to support each theme you name.

Essay Topic 3

Describe some of the settings for the story. What is the overall setting? Be sure to include geography, time period, and any pertinent popular culture events. Why did the author choose to use these places in the story?

(see the answer keys)

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