The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories 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. What instrument does Quadberry in Testimony of Pilot play?

2. What does the husband in Cathedral find disconcerting about Robert?

3. When does the story Wickedness take place?

4. In the story A Romantic Weekend, where is the couple in the story going for the weekend?

5. Who does Louise marry when she is thin?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the woman in The Darling meet Lenny?

2. In the story The Fat Girl,When Louise examines herself in a mirror, what parts of her body does she like? What parts does she hate?

3. Who is speaking in Girl, and to who is she directing her instructions?

4. Where does Magic find the white horse, in what condition is the horse, and who does he call for help?

5. What memory does Bryan relate in the third part of the story Minor Heroism?

6. In Carol Bly's story "Talk of Heroes," who is Willi Varig?

7. In the story Rock Springs, how do Edna, Cheryl and the narrator end up in Rock Springs?

8. What are some of the things the speaker in Girl encourages the young girl to learn how to do in the home?

9. Why does Delores kill her husband Michael in Scott Bradfield's story "The Darling"?

10. In Testimony of Pilot, how does Quadberry get the scar over his right eye?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Georgie describes his job to a hitchhiker he meets and says "I save lives." Discuss the lives Georgie saves in the story. Do you think this is an accurate description of his job? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Who is Ad Magic? How does his name give important information about who he is and what he does with his life? How does his affliction blur the lines of reality and fantasy for Ad Magic?

Essay Topic 3

In his Introduction, Tobias Wolff quotes Kafka as saying literature is like an axe with which to break "the frozen sea within us." What did Kafka mean by this? What two stories in the collection had this affect on you and why?

(see the answer keys)

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