The Orchard Keeper 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 does the old man pass by on his way home from the orchard?

2. With whom does Sylder live?

3. Who is driving the car that crashes in the woods?

4. Why was Sylder fired from his job?

5. Which of the following is true about Kenneth Rattner's widow and son?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Sylder and June do when they locate the young hitchhikers?

2. What are the circumstances in which Sylder once again encounters the old man?

3. Where does Sylder dispose of the body and whose presence is he unaware of?

4. What spooks the orchard keeper when he visits the peach pit where the corpse is buried?

5. What is the symbolism of the old man firing on the government tank on his property?

6. What does the man in Sylder's car want and what does Sylder end up doing?

7. How does McCarthy set up the book's major irony in this chapter?

8. How does the author give the first clue that Sylder is a bootlegger?

9. Where does Kenneth get a ride to and what is his ultimate destination?

10. What does Sylder do after he is fired from his job?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

McCarthy waits until almost the end of the novel to reveal the name of the orchard keeper. Why does he wait until this point? What does it mean when the reader finally knows the true identity of the orchard keeper? What is happening in the orchard keeper's life that erases any more secrecy about the old man? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the overall setting for the novel. Why does McCarthy use the setting he does? What is the time period of the story? How important is the time period to the attitudes and issues of the characters?

Essay Topic 3

The author uses some important instances of foreshadowing in the story. Explain what foreshadowing is and cite at least two examples making sure to explain what makes each an example of foreshadowing.

(see the answer keys)

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