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 does RECs stand for?

2. What name does the author give himself in Chapter 9?

3. In Chapter 9, what name does the author give the society he lives in.

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

5. Why does the author suggest researching government documents in Chapter 9?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do people dislike the boy in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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

6. In Chapter 9, what does the author say is wrong with his publisher?

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

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

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

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

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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