The Rifle 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. How does Richard Allen Mesington think about firearms?

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

3. In the novel, how many people actually fire the "sweet" rifle?

4. How quickly does Richard Allen Mesinger die after being shot?

5. Academically, how does Richard Allen Mesington perform?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the several career paths that Mesinger contemplates during his early life.

3. How is Harv Kline characterized in the novel?

4. Sarah steals the rifle from John Byam as he dies; does Tilson steal the rifle from Harv Kline?

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

6. Describe Richard Allen Mesinger's early teenage life.

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

8. How does the rifle fire after 217 years?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does the novel "need" to have the accidental discharge come from an old muzzle-loading, black powder rifle? Wouldn't the novel work just as well with an AK-47 hanging above Kline's mantel? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Is the book a novel or a political screed? Defend your selection.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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