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, what was the leading cause of death to voyagers along the Oregon Trail?

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

3. What does Harv Kline say after the "sweet" rifle accidentally discharges?

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

5. What does Richard Allen Mesington do as a small child that frightens his parents?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Richard Allen Mesinger think about his neighbor Harv Kline's antique gun?

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

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

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

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

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

7. How is Harv Kline characterized in the novel?

8. Do you think that Harv Kline feels he got a fair exchange with Tim Harrow?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The novel portrays the British during the American Revolutionary War as violent and foolhardy. Do you agree with this portrayal? Discuss why enemy troops always are vituperated in the media.

(see the answer keys)

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