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 does Claude know Reynolds?

2. In Chapter 3, how many men are in the car?

3. In Chapter 16, how does Lane feel toward his job?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 22, why does David take a long time getting to the train?

2. Why does Wallace have to watch the interviews in Chapter 14?

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

4. Why does Sylvanshine talk to Reynolds over the phone in Chapter 30?

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

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

7. In Chapter 39, what story is told about Stecyk?

8. In Chapter 22, what details does David give to explain his parents' divorce?

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

10. Why doesn't David exit the van in Chapter 24 with the other people?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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?

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