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. From "The Blue Machinery," where does Komunyakaa work during a summer job?

2. What was the one thing Grealy craved and completely lacked?

3. Who said, "hair is like life- there is no need to be bound by the past because it can always be changed"?

4. In "Westbury Court," who moves into the apartment down the hall after the lady and her children move out?

5. Why does Grealy end her boycott?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Do you agree with Maria's analogy of Komunyakaa from "The Blue Machinery"?

7. What does Petit say about the Twin Towers in "The Turning Point"?

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

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

10. Describe what Frazier did with his friends as a child in the essay, "A Lovely Sort of Lower Purpose."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How do the motivations of Ofri and Tan differ from each other in "Merced" and "Mother Tongue." How are the two alike? How are they different?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the role that 'secrets' play in the essays, "The Blue Machinery of Summer" and "Book Marks."

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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