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 21, what does the interviewer seem most interested in?

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

3. In Chapter 2, where is Claude reassigned?

4. In Chapter 19, how are the speakers identified?

5. In Chapter 18, how does Glendenning feel about Desk Names?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

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

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

5. What does Stecyk try to do in Chapter 12?

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

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

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

9. What types of information does the author provide via interview in Chapter 14?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Consider the use of nick names and code words in the IRS. What do these terms suggest about the agency? What do they reveal about the IRS employees? How do they influence the setting of the IRS REC?

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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