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. When does the story Wickedness take place?

2. How old is the new county school teacher in Wickedness?

3. What did Michael remember hearing as a child from the open window in his room?

4. Where does Hattie Benedict and the two children find shelter during the blizzard?

5. What does the couple decide to do after their first night together on their romantic weekend?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What picture do the narrator of Catherdraland Robert draw and why?

7. What happens to Ad Magic in the beginning of A White Horse, and how do the people he is with react to his situation?

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

9. In A Romantic Weekend, how long do Beth and her companion stay in Washington,D.C. and how do they return home? Why did they actually make the trip?

10. How does Dzia-Dzia describe Chopin's death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Earl, in Rock Springs, tries to change his life by stealing a car and leaving Montana with his girlfriend and his daughter. How does the author use foreshadowing to prepare the reader for Earl's failed attempt at this new life? How does the last paragraph of the story foreshadow the rest of Earl's life?

Essay Topic 2

In her short story, Tan describes "invisible strength." How does MeiMei interpret the concept of invisible strength? What does she accomplish using this concept? What other female in another story uses what could be called invisible strength and how is it similar to MeiMei's?

Essay Topic 3

In Cathedral, the husband and Robert are very different people. Robert is blind and the husband is not, but that is not the most important different between them. How do these characters exchange sight in the evening they spend together? How does the evening change both men?

(see the answer keys)

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