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. Why is Sanders thinking about this particular gift from his father in "The Inheritance of Tools"?

3. At what two locations does the interviewee in "Turning Point" perform?

4. What does McPhee compare his gift to in "Silk Parachute."

5. What nationality is Tan in the essay "Mother Tongue"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Sanders place such importance on tools in the essay, "The Inheritance of Tools"?

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

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

4. Describe Aldrich's mother from the essay "Hair."

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

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

7. What seems to be Danticat's conflict in the essay "Westbury Court"?

8. What does Ofri seem to be most concerned with in the essay "Merced"?

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

10. Why do you think McClanahan was so willing to ignore her husband's infidelities from the essay "Book Marks"? What acts of hers show it?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain how the role of the parent in "Silk Parachute" and "The Inheritance of Tools" are similar and different. Does one essay place more importance on the parent?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Muhammad Ali and Fidel Castro's importance as two world wide icons. According to "Ali in Havana" why was it destined for the two to meet?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the tangible and intangible role of human existence in the essay "Spring" by Gretel Ehrlich. What and who does Ehrlich mention as she reflects the significance of humans?

(see the answer keys)

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