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 9, what does the author say is the IRS' biggest strength?

2. In Chapter 9, why does the author single out the year 1985?

3. In Chapter 5, how do other people react to the man?

4. Who does Claude Sylvanshine work for?

5. Why doesn't Dean break up with his girlfriend in Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

5. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

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

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

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

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

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

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 2

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?

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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