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 long does Richard Allen Mesington own the "sweet" rifle?

2. For what did sailing ships in the Revolutionary War use black power?

3. Which of the following does not describe the loading process used by John Byam to load the "sweet" rifle?

4. When Richard Allen Mesington is seven years old his family moves to what state?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does the novel spend so much time characterizing Richard Allen Mesinger?

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

5. 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?

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

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

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

9. How many people own the "sweet" rifle?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the process of loading a muzzle-loading rifle. Describe why John Byam loaded the rifle the way that he did.

Essay Topic 2

In today's terms, John Byam would be called a sniper. Discuss the role of snipers in today's military actions. Is the role of a sniper somehow immoral? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the early life and the family life of Richard Allen Mesinger. Why is it important within the narrative that Mesinger is a likable and typical teenager?

(see the answer keys)

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