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. What does Carriscant think about sex in his marriage?

2. Where do Carriscant and Kay go?

3. What does Kay do for Philip?

4. What does Philip say he has done?

5. What is 2265 Micheltoreno?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do Bobby and Carriscant visit Isidro Cruz and what happens?

2. What is Pantaleon building inside his barn?

3. Who is Pantaleon Quiroga?

4. What does Salvador Carriscant say about his return to Manila in 1897?

5. Why does Kay's lawyer call her and why is his news in a way depressing for Kay?

6. What do Quiroga and Carriscant do for a Chinese boy?

7. Why is Kay Fischer nearly bankrupt?

8. What does Carriscant say when he elaborates on his past while he and Kay are flying?

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

10. Why does Kay spend many hours with her attorney?

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

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The Blue Afternoon. The questions are ones that Boyd most likely wants readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Boyd' agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Boyd' probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Boyd and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as The Blue Afternoon help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading The Blue Afternoon? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in The Blue Afternoon to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

(see the answer keys)

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