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 Bunny need to bring a box of tissues to school?

2. What inspires Quoyle to cook interesting food?

3. In what city did Quoyle and Partridge meet?

4. Why is Home Rock important?

5. Why does Sunshine exclaim that it is 'a ladder house'?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the aunt account for her wish to return to Newfoundland?

2. Comment on the significance of the contents of the suitcase Quoyle finds floating in the water.

3. In what way are Billy and Quoyle connected?

4. What is indicated by the image of Quoyle looking at the horizon?

5. What are Quoyle's expectations of marriage and how is the reality different for him?

6. What is Quoyle's attitude to Petal and her death?

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

8. What is important, symbolically, about Quoyle's reluctance to move into the house on the point?

9. Account for Quoyle's cherished hope that he was, in fact, a changeling.

10. What insight into Jack Buggit does the harbormaster convey to Quoyle?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Reflect about the idea that we are shaped by our childhood.

1) In what ways have Quoyle's childhood experiences formed his character and shaped his adult life?

2) In what ways have his own experiences given him insight into the world of his children?

3) Have these experiences made him overly protective of his daughters?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the important contrasts that are represented in THE SHIPPING NEWS.

1) Focus on contrasting values and attitudes. In what ways are those in Newfoundland different from what Quoyle has left behind? Illustrate by focusing on three characters and make frequent reference to the text.

2) Consider the contrast between life in Killick-Claw and that which Partridge describes in his phone call from Los Angeles.

3) Discuss the ways in which these contrasts support the themes of the novel.

Essay Topic 3

'When I first read THE SHIPPING NEWS, I was captivated by Newfoundland and wished I could travel there and meet those eccentric characters.'

1) To what extent do you relate to this student's comment?

2) What are the overall qualities of the novel that would cause you to recommend it to a friend?

3) Can you justify its status as a literary prize-winner?

(see the answer keys)

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