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 13, what part of the character's body is not affected by the sweat attacks?

2. In Chapter 21, what does the interviewer seem most interested in?

3. Why does Stecyk appear trustworthy in Chapter 12?

4. How does Chapter 1 explain the plot of this novel?

5. In Chapter 13, what does the character try to attribute his sweating to?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

6. How is Chapter 9 different from the rest of the chapters in this novel?

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

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

9. What makes Claude happy in Chapter 2?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Analyze the role of women in this novel. While most of the IRS employees are men, there are a few women characters who play major roles in the novel. How do women influence the development of the major themes? How do the women interact with the IRS? What influence does this have? In what ways do women exist outside of, and independent of, the IRS?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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