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 pressure does a black powder charge generate?

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

3. According to the novel, how fast is the rifle ball traveling when it hits Richard Allen Mesinger?

4. According to the novel, how common were firearms accidents prior to 1850?

5. After John Byam, what act is never performed on the "sweet" rifle?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

5. What message does the novel convey?

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

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

8. How is Harv Kline characterized in the novel?

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

10. How does the rifle fire after 217 years?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The novel infers the rifle has a will of its own--after killing Richard David Mesinger it sits in a gun cabinet "Waiting" (p. 105). Describe the narrative effect of this anthropomorphizing of the rifle. Why is the rifle treated like this?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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