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. After whom was Richard Allen Mesington named?

2. How old is Richard Allen Mesington when his family buys their first television?

3. What happened to Mrs. Mesinger after Richard Allen Mesinger's death?

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

5. From age seven to nine years old, Richard Allen Mesington believes he will pursue which profession?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Throughout the 217 year history of the "sweet" rifle, what is it functionally used for?

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

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

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

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

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

8. 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?

9. The Mesinger family moves several times during the novel; what impact does this have on Richard Allen Mesinger?

10. Describe Richard Allen Mesinger's academic performance.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Cornish McManus is described as an excellent gunsmith but an indifferent shot. Discuss how it is possible to be very good at one thing but not very good at something else that is closely associated.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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