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, who does the author say did most of the editing of this novel?

2. In Chapter 13, what happens when the character tries to hide his sweating?

3. In Chapter 14, what does one interviewee say was the basis of IRS agent performance review in the past?

4. In Chapter 2, what ranking does Reynolds hold?

5. In Chapter 9, what does the author say about the genre of this novel?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

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

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

5. In Chapter 5, how is the boy described?

6. What makes Claude happy in Chapter 2?

7. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

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

9. How do the characters in Chapter 18 react to Desk Names?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explore the author's commentary on government in "The Pale King". What is the preferred relationship between government and citizen? What is the relationship between government and government employee?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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