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. Who is Richard Allen Mesington's first girlfriend?

2. Richard Allen Mesington dreams of owing what kind of vehicle?

3. How long does Sissy live?

4. When Richard Allen Mesington is four years old, he has an exciting experience doing what?

5. How does Richard Allen Mesington think about firearms?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is the "sweet" rifle a work of art?

2. What message does the novel convey?

3. How is Harv Kline characterized in the novel?

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

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

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

7. 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?

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

9. Describe the early life of Richard Allen Mesinger .

10. How does the rifle fire after 217 years?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the processes that Cornish McManus used to manufacture the rifle.

Essay Topic 2

The novel infers the rifle has a will of its own--after killing Richard David Mesinger it sits in a gun cabinet "Waiting" (p. 105). Describe the narrative effect of this anthropomorphizing of the rifle. Why is the rifle treated like this?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the appearance of the rifle. Explain why it looks the way that it looks.

(see the answer keys)

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