The Habit of Being: Letters 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 can be said about these introductory sections of the book?

2. How much did Flannery earn for her first piece for The Kenyon Review?

3. From which college did Flannery graduate?

4. Fitzgerald says that the letters provide _____________________.

5. Flannery tells the Fitzgeralds that she is not good at ______________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is revealed about Flannery's lifestyle in this section?

2. Who are some of Flannery's earliest contacts?

3. What information about writing fundamentals does Flannery share in the first letters in this section?

4. Where did Flannery go after graduating college in 1945?

5. How can a photo of Flannery falling with a bottle of liquor in her hand be misconstrued?

6. Who are some of the people to whom Flannery writes during this section?

7. What is Flannery's lifestyle after she leaves Yaddo?

8. Who writes the introduction for the book and what does she find so intriguing about the letters?

9. What important note about Flannery does the editor include at the beginning of this section?

10. What points are mentioned about loneliness in the writing lifestyle?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There is more than one instance of irony in the book. Cite at least two examples you can identify in the letters and note why they are examples of irony.

Essay Topic 2

Flannery O'Connor was no stranger to disappointment and rejection. From what you know of O'Connor's life and personality through these letters, what were her biggest letdowns? How did she manage through them? How did her coping skills evidence themselves in many aspects of her life? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Flannery O'Connor is famous for her use of grotesque characters in her fiction. From what you know about O'Connor from reading her letters, what would make her create such hideous creatures? What was her motive for bringing the unsavory to life? Did she get a perverse pleasure out of shocking people? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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