The Blue Afternoon: A Novel 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. Who is Paton Bobby?

2. What seemed to be true about the location of the body that was found?

3. Where does Kay's mother live?

4. What does Kay do for Philip?

5. What does Pantaleon lack?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Meyersen say about Kay's home and career and how does it affect Kay?

2. Where does Carriscant visit in the chapter titled "The Nipa Barn"?

3. How does Carriscant feel about his marriage?

4. What does Kay's mother confirm about Kay's past?

5. Describe the feud between Carriscant and Isidro Cruz.

6. What does Kay discover when she goes to her house just after selling it?

7. What do Kay and Philip think about the other one?

8. Who is Kay Fischer?

9. What is Pantaleon building inside his barn?

10. What does Carriscant say about his parentage?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of William Boyd.

2. What in Boyd's background may have helped him in writing The Blue Afternoon? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of truth in The Blue Afternoon. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of love in The Blue Afternoon. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to possess courage? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of illusions and beliefs in The Blue Afternoon. What are some of the beliefs the characters hold that may be illusions? How does denial fit in with the theme of illusions and beliefs? How do false beliefs shape some of the characters' lives?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. Do you think there was enough hard evidence to convict Carriscant of the crimes for which he went to prison? Why or why not? Use examples from your life and The Blue Afternoon to support your discussion.

2. What mistakes do you think, in detail, Carriscant made which left him open to being charged with crimes he claims he did not commit? Use examples from your life and The Blue Afternoon to support your discussion.

3. Compare Carriscant's situation, going to prison for crimes he says he did not commit, versus Kay's partner, Meyersen, who seems to have committed several crimes against Kay yet not only did not go to prison but seems to have thrived from his nefarious behavior. Use examples from your life and The Blue Afternoon to support your discussion.

(see the answer keys)

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