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 David say happened to his mother in 1971?

2. Where does the narrator say Blumquist died?

3. In Chapter 22, why does David go to Libertyville with his father?

4. In Chapter 22, what happens after David's father's death?

5. In Chapter 23, what does the narrator describe?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens with the lawsuits that follow David's father's death?

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

3. How do the IRS employees entertain themselves in Chapter 32?

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

5. What is Chapter 25 about?

6. In Chapter 22, what details does David give to explain his parents' divorce?

7. In Chapter 27, what reason is given for possibly not conducting an audit?

8. What concerns Lane Dean Jr. most about the work he does in Chapter 33?

9. In Chapter 27, why is the word "profitable" not used officially?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Analyze the use of symbolism in "The Pale King". Consider the significant jobs in the IRS REC, the IRS van, the pre-employment house and other important objects.

(see the answer keys)

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