The Rifle 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. What is the twist rate of the rifling of the barrel of Cornish McManus' "sweet" rifle?

2. What function does the tang perform on the rifle that Cornish McManus built?

3. Tim Harrow refers to the effect of bullet impact on game as...

4. Tim Harrow's vest has all of the following slogans except?

5. How much money does Tim Harrow have hidden in his mobile home?

Short Essay Questions

1. Cornish McManus is astounded when his "sweet" rifle puts three balls into one ragged hole at thirty paces (about 75 feet) while shooting from a solid rest. By today's accuracy standards is McManus' rifle's performance astounding?

2. Why does it take Cornish McManus so long to build the "sweet" rifle?

3. What was John Byam called in his day as a soldier? What would he be called today?

4. What types of uses is Cornish McManus' "sweet" rifle put to during the novel?

5. Why do the British hang Cornish McManus?

6. Do you think that John Byam "got his money's worth" out of the "sweet" rifle?

7. The cover image of several common editions of the book shows a highly-engraved flintlock rifle. Does the book describe the rifle as being engraved?

8. Do you think that John Waynewright would have valued Cornish McManus's "sweet" rifle?

9. Why does John Byam offer so much wealth in exchange for Cornish McManus' "sweet" rifle?

10. What does John Byam use the "sweet" rifle for?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does the novel spend so much time characterizing Richard Allen Mesinger? After all, his interaction with the rifle lasts less than one second and the narrative makes it clear that Mesinger never even knew he was being killed. Within the narrative, what difference does it make that Mesinger was who he was?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the role of the characterization of Tim Harrow in the novel. Why is Tim even characterized? Why is he characterized as a fringe "crazy"? What role does the character play in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

The novel argues that during the Colonial period rifles were needed tools but that in today's society they are no longer useful. Discuss this contrast.

(see the answer keys)

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