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. How is Chapter 11 constructed?

2. Who does Claude Sylvanshine work for?

3. What makes Lane feel out of place in Chapter 16?

4. What is Dean's main concern in Chapter 6?

5. At the end of Chapter 9, what does the author say is good at hiding things?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Stecyk's job in Chapter 14?

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

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

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

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

8. In Chapter 9, what does the author say about the first few pages of any book?

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

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

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

Analyze the layering of people named David Foster Wallace in this novel. Explore the relationship between the three Davids in the novel: the author, the narrator and the character. What makes these people different? What makes them the same?

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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