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. What is described in Chapter 10?

2. In Chapter 17, what are IRS jobs compared to?

3. Why is the taxpayer being interviewed in Chapter 21?

4. Why does Claude speak to Merrill in Chapter 2?

5. What feeling does the author add to Mr. Glendenning's quote in Chapter 9?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Stecyk's job in Chapter 14?

3. While describing Stecyk in Chapter 12, what does the narrator comment on about the boy's future?

4. In Chapter 10, how does the author explain the existence of the bureaucratic systems he describes?

5. What makes Claude happy in Chapter 2?

6. Why does the author claim this novel is memoir in Chapter 9?

7. What point does the author make about the "information society" in Chapter 9?

8. Why does the author talk about the dullness of the IRS in Chapter 9?

9. What does Stecyk try to do in Chapter 12?

10. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What role do nameless characters play in this novel? Consider how they affect the plot and the other characters in the novel. How do these nameless characters influence the major themes?

Essay Topic 2

Knowing that "The Pale King" is unfinished, how does this influence the novel? What impact does this have on the development of the plot and the characters? How does the inclusion of author notes influence these things?

Essay Topic 3

Even though this novel has many characters, what makes David the protagonist of this novel? Compare his role in the novel to definitions of protagonists. How can a protagonist still exist in such a disjointed novel?

(see the answer keys)

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