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 are Desk Names, as defined in Chapter 18?

2. How old is the man in Chapter 5?

3. In Chapter 9, what does the author point out about televisions?

4. What title does Lane Dean Jr. have in Chapter 16?

5. In Chapter 2, where does Claude allude to previously working?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 13, what problem does the main character suffer from?

2. In Chapter 5, what has happened to the boy's mother?

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

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

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

6. How does Stecyk change from Chapter 12 to Chapter 14?

7. In Chapter 9, what does the author say about the first few pages of any book?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Analyze the theme of boredom in this novel. How does the author try to influence his readers' opinions about boredom?

Essay Topic 3

What is the effect of the loosely connected characters of "The Pale King" on the development of the plot? What is the relationship between plot and characterization?

(see the answer keys)

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