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

2. When does the story The First Day take place?

3. In the story Testimony of Pilot, what does Radcleve do to Quadberry?

4. Who is Little Duke?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

5. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Discuss the use of metaphors in the story Men Under Water. How do they reflect the relationship between the narrator and Gunther?

(see the answer keys)

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