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. When was Mavis Bangs first married?

3. What does the aunt do with her brother's ashes?

4. Why is it claimed that biologists have visited the Tough Baby?

5. In what way does Quoyle benefit from Petal's death?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In what way are Billy and Quoyle connected?

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

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

5. How does Quoyle respond to the news about the Quoyles' past?

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

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

8. What is revealed to Quoyle during the trip to Gaze Island with Billy Pretty?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Is anyone happy in THE SHIPPING NEWS?

1) Identify characters who might be described as happy and those who are not. Can you account for those states of mind? What does the novel tell us about the characters' dilemmas, crises and uncertainties?

2) Discuss the importance of happiness and unhappiness in the main plot of THE SHIPPING NEWS.

Essay Topic 2

THE SHIPPING NEWS is a novel rich in symbolism.

1) Discuss three significant symbols in the novel and comment on their importance for characterization and thematic development.

2) Does the author focus on one or more particular symbols and what does that add to our understanding of the main characters?

3) Are there specific symbols associated with particular characters?

4) What is the place of symbolism in readers' deeper appreciation of this or any other 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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