The Best American Essays 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 was McPhee fascinated by as a child?

2. What does Hoagland's friend say about the number of suicides committed by men in "Heaven and Nature"?

3. What is the lady in "Westbury Court" doing when the firemen come inside her apartment?

4. Where does Gates go when he leaves America?

5. What were hair "kinks" a symbol of in Gate's essay, "In the Kitchen"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do people discriminate against Tan's mother in "Mother Tongue"?

2. If you were Cofer, would you want to have the comfort of having a small neighborhood full of people from your native country?

3. What does Sanders think about tools verses machines in "The Inheritance of Tools"?

4. Do you find truth with McClanahan's essay of the woman writing in the margin and their mutual emotions?

5. What fascinates Ehrlich in the essay "Spring"?

6. Describe Cofer's father from "Silent Dancing."

7. Do you agree with Rhonda's view on hair from the essay "Hair"?

8. In "The Turning Point," describe Petit's desire to make tight roping an art form.

9. What does Ehrlich think about Joel in the essay "Spring"?

10. Do you think Ofri realizes she cannot have control over life or death in the essay "Merced"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the purpose of the female and male bodies according to "The Disposable Rocket." Do you agree with Updike's opinion of the two genders?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the antagonist of "A Lovely Sort of Lower Purpose" by Ian Frazier.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the difference between a top-tier university and what Queenan calls a "middling" university and why people prefer a top-tier school.

(see the answer keys)

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