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 the author describe the man in Chapter 5?

2. How old is the man in Chapter 5?

3. What textual feature does Chapter 9 have that is missing from the other chapters?

4. What year is given to the interview files in Chapter 14?

5. How are the interviews in Chapter 14 described?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

3. What makes Chapter 20 confusing in the construction of this novel?

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

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

6. While describing Stecyk in Chapter 12, what does the narrator comment on about the boy's future?

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

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

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

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

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

Analyze the use of post-modernism techniques. Consider the unique text layouts, formats, footnotes, columns, interviews, etc. How do these textual features affect the development of this novel?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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