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 the hope of incorporating the new postage system called "penny post" in "Mail"?

2. If lack of love is the reason for suicide, what does Hoagland suggest to those who know love?

3. What does Grealy look down on?

4. Pertaining to "Turning Point," who does Chelminski interview?

5. What does Ofri ultimately realize from her patient in "Merced"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the benefits of the penny post in the essay "Mail."

2. Describe what Berry's issue with the American people is in "In Distrust of Movements."

3. What does Steele say about her black identity in the essay, "On Being Black and Middle Class"?

4. In "The Blue Machinery," why does Komunyakaa not tell his co-workers that he is going to graduate school in the fall?

5. What does Convoy finally accept at the end of his essay "Think About It"?

6. What happened to Rahm in "The Stunt Pilot"?

7. Explain Hearne's reasons for the differences of human rights to those of a dog in the essay "What's Wrong With Animal Rights"?

8. Explain McPhee's connection to the parachute from the "Silk Parachute."

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

10. How does Tan learn English in "Mother Tongue"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the essay, "They All Just Went Away" how is an abandoned house like a decaying corpse?

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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