The Rifle Test | Final Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. When was Richard Allen Mesington born?
(a) October 13, 1979
(b) July 4, 1776
(c) The novel doesn't say
(d) In early 1993

2. According to the novel, how common were firearms accidents prior to 1850?
(a) They were common
(b) They were very rare
(c) They were virtually non-existent
(d) They were almost unheard of

3. With which relative is Richard Allen Mesington particularly close?
(a) His son
(b) His grandfather
(c) His cousin
(d) His adopted little sister

4. Just before the "sweet" rifle accidentally discharges, what is Harv Kline doing?
(a) Stirring the fire with a poker
(b) Loading the gun
(c) Taking aim at a British officer
(d) Cleaning the gun

5. What is Richard Allen Mesinger doing at the moment he is killed?
(a) Adjusting a decoration on a Christmas tree
(b) He is riding a horse behind enemy lines
(c) He is making out with Peggy
(d) He is flying a P-51 in combat during World War II

Short Answer Questions

1. How many close friends does Richard Allen Mesington have during the first few years of his life?

2. How old is Richard Allen Mesington when he stops believing in Santa Claus?

3. How old is Richard Allen Mesington when he has his first crush on Peggy?

4. What constituted the "door" to the powder magazine in Revolutionary War ships?

5. What breed of dog is Sissy?

Short Essay Questions

1. Tim Harrow owns the "sweet" rifle for a few days. He buys it, wraps it up in cloth, and trades it away a few days later. As a character, Harrow has no narrative function beyond transporting the rifle from point A to point B, just like Sarah, an editor, an antique dealer, and a gun collector. Yet the novel spends a significant portion of its space developing Harrow as a character. Why?

2. Imagine that you came into possession of the "sweet" rifle instead of Tilson. What would you do with the rifle if you did not know its history? What would you do with the rifle if you did know its history?

3. The novel openly mocks Tim Harrow's personal philosophy that draws from firearms and American history, the United States Constitution, and Christianity. Do you think that these sources of information are suitable for mockery?

4. What happens to the adults that survive the accidental death of Richard Allen Mesinger?

5. What does Richard Allen Mesinger think about his neighbor Harv Kline's antique gun?

6. The novel summarizes the life that Richard Allen Mesinger "would" have had if he had not been killed. Is this a valid narrative technique?

7. Describe the chain of events that leads to the rifle being above Harv Kline's fireplace.

8. Why does the novel spend so much time characterizing Richard Allen Mesinger?

9. Was the "sweet" rifle fundamentally different from other rifles of the period?

10. Why don't the Mesinger and the Kline children play together?

(see the answer keys)

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