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. According to the novel, how much time elapses between the spark setting off the "sweet" rifle and Richard Allen Mesinger's death?

2. How does Richard Allen Mesinger die?

3. When Richard Allen Mesington is eleven and twelve years old what is his favorite hobby?

4. According to the novel, how long was Richard Allen Mesinger "supposed" to have lived?

5. According to the novel, why were all guns kept loaded prior to 1850?

Short Essay Questions

1. Imagine that you came into possession of the "sweet" rifle instead of Tilson. What would you do with the rifle if you did not know its history? What would you do with the rifle if you did know its history?

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?

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

4. Describe the early life of Richard Allen Mesinger .

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

6. Describe Richard Allen Mesinger's academic performance.

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

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

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

10. The novel summarizes the life that Richard Allen Mesinger "would" have had if he had not been killed. Is this a valid narrative technique?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the novel, the black powder rifle discharges after 217 of being loaded. Is this credible? Or is it merely a piece of melodrama to establish a political opinion within the novel?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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