The Pale King Test | Final 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. What does Chapter 34 consist of?

2. What IRS hiring event takes place in Chapter 27?

3. In Chapter 28, what does the narrator assume all IRS agents want?

4. What does David first talk about in the beginning of Chapter 22?

5. How does Sylvanshine first talk to Reynolds in Chapter 30?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does David's father's arm get stuck in the train?

2. In Chapter 33, how does Lane Dean Jr. perform his work?

3. What is the relationship between the Peoria REC and Martinsburg?

4. What are IRS phantoms?

5. Why does David feel he wasted his youth in Chapter 22?

6. In Chapter 27, what surprises Cusk when he returns from his break?

7. In Chapter 27, what worries Cusk most about his training?

8. Why doesn't David exit the van in Chapter 24 with the other people?

9. In Chapter 22, why does David take a long time getting to the train?

10. In Chapter 22, what reason does David give for going to the IRS for a job?

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

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 3

Explore the author's commentary on government in "The Pale King". What is the preferred relationship between government and citizen? What is the relationship between government and government employee?

(see the answer keys)

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