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. What was Richard Allen Mesington's first pet dog named?

2. According to the novel, what would Richard Allen Mesinger have done had he not been shot?

3. When Richard Allen Mesington is fourteen years old, who is his girlfriend?

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

5. How old is Richard Allen Mesington when he has his first crush on Peggy?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. 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?

4. What experiences does Mesinger have with firearms in his life?

5. How is Harv Kline characterized in the novel?

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

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

8. How does the rifle fire after 217 years?

9. Describe the early life of Richard Allen Mesinger .

10. 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?

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

Of the major characters in the novel (Cornish McManus, John Byam, Tim Harrow, Harv Kline, and Richard Allen Mesinger), are any of them heroic? If not, why not. If so, who is heroic and why do you consider them heroic?

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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