The Contender 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 said that if Alfred came back he might as well see what he came back for in Chapter 6?

2. Who does Alfred's aunt decide to talk to about Alfred's boxing in Chapter 9?

3. Where is Alfred supposed to be going in the beginning of Chapter 1?

4. Where did Robert Lipsyte attend college?

5. When the fight begins in Chapter 7, who is obviously a crowd favorite?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the author show the differences of the world of television from Alfred's life in Chapter 2?

2. How does Alfred feel about his friendship with James in Chapter 10? What effect does this have on his training?

3. Discuss the conflicts in Chapter 6. What does Alfred learn from them?

4. Why does Alfred not back down against the thugs in Chapter 8? How does he feel about this interaction?

5. Where is Alfred in the beginning of Chapter 1? Where does he go to look for James? How does Alfred feel about James?

6. Who is James with when Alfred finds him in Chapter 1? What are these characters like?

7. How does Donatelli evaluate Alfred in Chapter 3? What does he ask Alfred?

8. Who encounters Alfred and encourages him to stay at the gym in Chapter 6? What does this character tell him?

9. How does the author describe Madison Square Garden in Chapter 7? What are Alfred's impressions?

10. Describe the character of Alfred in Chapter 1. Where does Alfred live and what does the exposition reveal about his history?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze and discuss the theme of racism in the novel. How does Alfred feel about the racial tensions around him? How important is race to the characters in the book? How is race seen differently in the different settings in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

Describe and discuss heroin and addiction in the novel. Who introduced James to heroin in the novel? How has the relationship between Alfred and James evolved in the narrative? How long have Alfred and James known one another?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze and discuss the actions and objectives presented in Chapter 12. Why does Donatelli press Alfred to retire? How has Alfred's feelings about boxing changed? Why does Alfred choose to leave behind his dreams?

(see the answer keys)

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