The Memory of Old Jack 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 happens after Will leaves?

2. What invitation does Mat extend to Jack once in the store?

3. After dinner, what do most of the men and women do?

4. Which of the following statements best describes the mules?

5. After his time off from working, how would Jack feel?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Mat finds Jack at Jasper Lathrope's store, what is the extent of the conversation Mat has with Jack?

2. What is Jack's relationship with Ben?

3. What was Jack like when he was younger?

4. What does Jack remember about being twenty-eight years old and being in charge of his family farm?

5. How would you best describe Jack's marriage?

6. What happened to Jack's horses and wagon during the storm that occured while he was in town trying to buy flour?

7. After the dinner at the Feltner's house, what is the memory that Jack has about?

8. What is Jack's relationship with Hannah Coultner like?

9. What is Jack's relationship with Nancy?

10. What happens when Jack is brought out of his memories and into the present?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Most of the novel shows that Jack is fraught with regret about things in this life. As he reflects on his life, it is apparent that he is not particularly happy with it, though perhaps he is content. The climax of the novel involves Jack's death. This combination does not necessarily make for a cheerful uplifting, novel. Write an essay that addresses the entire mood of the novel. Was the mood intended to be depressing? Did you find the mood inspiring? How effective was the mood in proving the author's point?

Essay Topic 2

Of note in the novel is the emphasis that the author places on the slow death of the agrarian society in America post World War II. Write an essay that summarizes how Berry showed that agrarian society was dying out and being replaced by modern society. Give examples from the novel that show how Berry could have possibility felt about the issue as he wrote the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Wendell Berry uses symbolism throughout The Memory of Old Jack. There is symbolism in the book title, in the chapter titles, and in the events that Jack remembers. Write an essay that focuses on three specific incidences of symbolism in the novel. Summarize the symbolism elements you have chosen to write about and explain what each element represents.

(see the answer keys)

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