The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life Test | Final Test - Hard

Robert Goolrick
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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 hors d'oeuvres did Goolrick make the adults?

2. What does George threaten to do?

3. What did Lackman bake for Butter Day?

4. For which holidays were pageants held?

5. What can Goolrick smell in George's shirt?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the creek and explain why it is "violently sexy".

2. Explain the confrontation between Goolrick and his mother in the first grade.

3. Explain that pageants of Mrs. Lackman's classes.

4. Explain what happens when Goolrick runs into the boys from school.

5. What seems to be Goolrick's primary premise in "How I Went On"?

6. Explain Goolrick's story of his "real" parents.

7. What does Goolrick mean when he points out that they boys thought he was one of them?

8. Explain how Goolrick and his siblings coerce their mother into buying things, and how they pay for it.

9. Explain how cream was used to make butter in the classroom.

10. Describe what happened when Goolrick's brother refused to eat when they were children.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the time of her death, Goolrick spent hours driving back and forth from home to the hospital in order to spend time with his mother. When no one else would go, Goolrick went, making sure to deliver news, as needed. When his mother was actually dying, however, Goolrick left her alone, and he claims he does not know why. Knowing what you know about Goolrick and his mother's relationship, why do you think Goolrick left his mother to die alone in a hospital? Do you think he did it out of spite, fear, anger, or was it simply an unconscious decision? Be sure to base your answer on information from the book.

Essay Topic 2

It is clear that Goolrick has developed, over the years, a deviant sense of sexuality. How is this displayed in the novel? What sexual experiences does Goolrick discuss from his early youth and his teenage years that show this deviance? How do these events tie into Goolrick's fear in his teens that he was sexually poisonous, and that his touch would kill others? Why did his masturbation become such an important event to him, and how did that event become frightening and painful? How do you think this effected his overall sexuality later in life?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the major themes in the novel, and discuss it. Some examples of themes are child abuse, alcoholism, depression, and the lifestyle of the 1950s and 1960s. Include how Goolrick approached the theme, its purpose in the novel, how it was conveyed to the reader, and how the people in the book reacted to the scenarios this theme presented.

(see the answer keys)

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