The Life We Bury Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Allen Eskens
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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 did Joe's mother's apartment smell like when he was a child?

2. How was Berthel Collins involved in Carl's case?

3. Who was Carl's lead attorney in his murder case?

4. How does Joe feel after telling his secret to Carl?

5. What did Grandpa Bill warn Joe not to leave on the bottom of the boat?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Carl require from Joe if he is going to allow him to know and write his life story?

2. What does Joe's mother say that she knows will cause Joe to feel guilty?

3. Joe's mother is bipolar. How does Joe describe her behavior in Chapter 3?

4. How does Joe resolve his guilt of leaving Jeremy with his mother and Larry?

5. Joe's mother is arrested and calls Joe for help. Joe speaks to the arresting officer, but he is not concerned about his mother. What is Joe's main concern when his mother is arrested?

6. What is the purpose of Carl's "dying declaration"?

7. Virgil accuses Joe of using Carl. Is this true?

8. How does the short document about Carl's war service conflict with his crime?

9. Carl and Joe make some big assumptions about each other during their first meeting. What does Carl assume about Joe?

10. What crime was Carl Iverson convicted of committing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did Virgil Gray lose his leg? How does Virgil feel about Carl? Do you think his loyalty is justified or is it naïve? Does this new information affect Joe? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

At the end of Chapter 14, Joe receives a call from his mother's landlord. How does this phone call, and the situation in Chapter 15, signal that Joe will soon need to make a decision regarding his mother and brother? What do you think he will have to decide? What do you think he will choose to do?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the following quote from Chapter 8 using evidence from the text: "But deep down, I knew the truth: I needed her - not as a son needs a mother, but as a sinner needs the devil" (61). Who does this quote belong to and who is it about? Why is this analogy appropriate?

(see the answer keys)

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