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. In Chapter 21, what does the interviewer seem most interested in?

3. In Chapter 6, what upsets Dean most about his relationship with his girlfriend?

4. In Chapter 17, what are IRS jobs compared to?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Claude's psychic ability described in Chapter 15?

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

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

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

5. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Research the IRS to compare the IRS details in the novel to the truth. Why might the author have maintained some facts and disregarded others?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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