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. In the story Rock Springs, what animal does Edna win in a bet?

2. What do Nick and Karen do on Sundays?

3. Where did Mrs. Kubiac go to try and find her daughter?

4. What instructions does the speaker give in The Girl about eating?

5. In the story Girl, why does the speaker say not to pick other people's flowers?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the story Minor Heroism, who is Bryan, and what about him bothers his father?

2. In the story The First Day, where are the mother and child going at the opening of the story? Why is this an important day?

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

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

5. Who does the mother in the story The First Day ask the woman at Walker Jones School and why?

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

7. Where do the narrator of Emergency and his friend Georgie work and for how long? What do they do there?

8. What story does Edna tell the narrator of Rock Springs about her pet, a monkey?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the story Lawn, the narrator steals from the mail room of her dormitory. In her life, she has had a great deal stolen from her. Discuss what the narrator steals and why, and then what has been stolen from her and why. Can she ever be compensated for what has been stolen from her? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

What unusual literary device does Jamaica Kincaid use in her story Girl? Why and how does this device succeed in this piece?

Essay Topic 3

Alcohol is a theme in some of the stories in this collection. Compare the drinking and the effect drinking has on these characters and their close relationships: Walter in All The Way To Flagstaff, Arizona; Willi Vorig in Talk of Heroes, and Lenny in Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta.

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