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. In the story The First Day, what time does the mother tell her daughter she will pick her up?

3. In what condition does Varig arrive at Tusend Hjem on the night of the meeting?

4. In Testimony of Pilot, who is Lillian?

5. Why is the couple in A Romantic Weekend going away for the weekend?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are the main characters in River of Names, and how are they different from each other?

2. In the story Cathedral, who is Robert and how does he enter the story?

3. 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?

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

5. In The Fat Girl, what is the secret that follows Louise from high school to college?

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

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

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

9. In the story Wickedness, what happens in Nebraska on the twelfth of January, 1888? How does this affect the townspeople?

10. In the story Chopin in Winter, what do Michael and Dzia-Dzia talk about at night and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In his story The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien differentials between the physical things the soldiers carried on their backs and those they carry in their hearts and minds. Contrast and compare the physical and emotional things the men carried and how each affect a soldier.

Essay Topic 3

Chose three female characters from any of the short stories in the book. Discuss what these three women have in common with each other, and how they are different from each other. Include the ways in which the woman are victims and of what or whom.

(see the answer keys)

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