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 Chapter 1 explain the plot of this novel?

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

3. Why does Lowtis confront his neighbor in Chapter 20?

4. What type of interviews has Stecyk prepared in Chapter 14?

5. In Chapter 13, what part of the character's body is not affected by the sweat attacks?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What makes Claude happy in Chapter 2?

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

4. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

How does the author create setting throughout this novel? How does the IRS become a driving force behind the creation of setting? What makes the setting of this novel important to the novel as a whole?

Essay Topic 3

What role do nameless characters play in this novel? Consider how they affect the plot and the other characters in the novel. How do these nameless characters influence the major themes?

(see the answer keys)

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