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 19, how are the speakers identified?

2. How old is the man in Chapter 5?

3. In Chapter 9, what does the author say is the IRS' biggest strength?

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

5. Why does Claude speak to Merrill in Chapter 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Dean marry Sheri in Chapter 6?

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

3. What is the purpose of Chapter 11?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How is characterization accomplished in this novel? Consider the fact that characters will appear in one chapter and not again for several chapters. Consider how many of the characters interact with minor and unnamed characters. Also, how is characterization accomplished in chapters that exist to develop the IRS and setting only?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the theme of boredom in this novel. How does the author try to influence his readers' opinions about boredom?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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