The Pale King 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. In Chapter 8, who does the girl run away with?

2. Why does the author quote Mr. Glendenning in Chapter 9?

3. Why does Lowtis confront his neighbor in Chapter 20?

4. In Chapter 2, where is Claude reassigned?

5. What textual feature does Chapter 9 have that is missing from the other chapters?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 16, what does Lane Dean Jr.'s character reveal about the work of the IRS?

2. What makes Chapter 20 confusing in the construction of this novel?

3. In Chapter 5, how is the boy described?

4. How could the interview in Chapter 21 be described?

5. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

6. In the beginning of this novel, how does Claude feel about his job?

7. What types of information does the author provide via interview in Chapter 14?

8. In Chapter 19, what seems to be the favored solution to what is wrong with America?

9. In Chapter 13, why does the main character pay attention to the way he sits?

10. How is Claude's psychic ability described in Chapter 15?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze the use of symbolism in "The Pale King". Consider the significant jobs in the IRS REC, the IRS van, the pre-employment house and other important objects.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the layering of people named David Foster Wallace in this novel. Explore the relationship between the three Davids in the novel: the author, the narrator and the character. What makes these people different? What makes them the same?

Essay Topic 3

Explore the purpose and role of supernatural powers in this novel. How are psychic abilities used in the novel? How are phantoms used?

(see the answer keys)

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