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. According to the novel, how many baseball games did Richard Allen Mesinger watch in an average year?
(a) Over 100
(b) Two or three a week, all season long
(c) He didn't watch baseball
(d) 16

2. After John Byam, what act is never performed on the "sweet" rifle?
(a) Checking to see if it is loaded
(b) Selling it
(c) Firing it
(d) Cleaning it up

3. What were the small boys called who hauled powder from the magazine to the cannon during the Revolutionary War?
(a) Sons of Guns
(b) Ship's Boys
(c) Powder Monkeys
(d) Swabs

4. From age nine to ten, Richard Allen Mesington believes he will pursue which profession?
(a) Law
(b) Medicine
(c) Airplane pilot
(d) Veterinary science

5. When he is an infant, how does Richard Allen Mesington get Sissy to stop walking?
(a) He pulls her fur
(b) He asks her to stop
(c) He sits down and cries
(d) He says he'll tell his mom if she doesn't do what he says

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following does not describe the loading process used by John Byam to load the "sweet" rifle?

2. In what sport is Richard Allen Mesington not interested?

3. Academically, how does Richard Allen Mesington perform?

4. Who tells Peggy that Richard Allen Mesington has a crush on her?

5. What does Richard Allen Mesington call the first heavy equipment he sees moving earth?

Short Essay Questions

1. How many people own the "sweet" rifle?

2. Do you think that Harv Kline feels he got a fair exchange with Tim Harrow?

3. What experiences does Mesinger have with firearms in his life?

4. 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?

5. Who is the most sympathetic character in the novel, and why?

6. What happens when the rifle accidentally discharges above Harv Kline's fireplace?

7. Describe the chain of events that leads to the rifle being accidentally discharged.

8. Tim Harrow is characterized as a fringe "crazy" person; the narrative openly mocks him. What actions does he perform in the novel that would make you shun him in the real world?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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