The Shipping News Test | Mid-Book 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. Why does Sunshine exclaim that it is 'a ladder house'?

2. Why does Bunny need to bring a box of tissues to school?

3. What is the man in the dory doing?

4. Why does Petal telephone Quoyle from Montgomery?

5. What is the alternative name for Gaze Island?

Short Essay Questions

1. What change in Quoyle occurs following the incident of his article on the 'Hitler yacht'?

2. How does Quoyle feel about Bunny's problems at school?

3. How does the aunt respond to Quoyle's doubt over his ability to do the job?

4. How did the Quoyle house come to be moved to the point where it now stands?

5. Does Tert Card demonstrate the qualities required of a managing editor?

6. How important is the rhythm of their new lives for Quoyle and his family?

7. In what way is the aunt's reaction to the appearance of the distant Quoyle different from her nephew's?

8. In what way is the appearance of the Botterjacht ironic?

9. Why do we feel at this point that there is cause to be optimistic about Quoyle's growing friendship with Wavey?

10. What is significant about the different ways in which Quoyle and his aunt respond to the finding of Bayonet Melville's head?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In THE SHIPPING NEWS there is a range of events that can be classified as bizarre.

Discuss the use of the bizarre and unusual in THE SHIPPING NEWS. Is there any pattern in this? Is it linked to theme and/or character?

Focus on three bizarre incidents or characters and show how these are important for the novel as a whole. What is revealed or emphasized about choices, fortune and behavior?

Essay Topic 2

Identify two themes in THE SHIPPING NEWS. Discuss the ways in which the novelist uses character and circumstance to explore these themes. You should focus on Quoyle, Agnis and Jack Buggit.

Essay Topic 3

All human beings need to have a sense of belonging to a group or a place. Without that, they can feel rootless, bereft.

Discuss the way in which the theme of 'belonging' is explored in THE SHIPPING NEWS.

Focus on three characters and their quest to belong.

Are there characters who do not follow such a quest? Who are these characters and why do you think they are different?

(see the answer keys)

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