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. Why does the author say he was given a new social security number?

2. What is revealed to be a joke in Chapter 14?

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

4. What is Merrill's middle name?

5. How are the interviews in Chapter 14 described?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What makes Claude happy in Chapter 2?

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

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

7. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

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

9. How do the girl and her mother get away in Chapter 8?

10. What makes Chapter 4 different from Chapters 1-3?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is characterization accomplished in this novel? Consider the fact that characters will appear in one chapter and not again for several chapters. Consider how many of the characters interact with minor and unnamed characters. Also, how is characterization accomplished in chapters that exist to develop the IRS and setting only?

Essay Topic 2

What is the role of interview in "The Pale King"? Consider the interviews conducted with tax payers, IRS employees and people wishing to become IRS employees. What message is conveyed about the interviewing process?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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