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 does Lenny in Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta give the protagonist before he leaves?

2. Who is telling the story of the first day?

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

4. Who is Dzia-Dzia?

5. What advise does the speaker in Girl give about bread?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Cody's Story, who are Cody and G.R.? What do they do for a living and where?

2. In Moonwalk, who is Margaret Many Wounds and what is happening to her as the story opens? Who is taking care of her?

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

4. In the story All the Way in Flagstaff, Arizona, what does Walter keep hidden in the wheel well of the spare tire in the car? Why?

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

6. What questions does Danica ask Jane's father near the end of the train trip, and how does he respond?

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

8. In the story Helping, who are Elliot and Grace and what do they do for a living? How are their jobs similar and how are they different?

9. In the story Murderers, who do the young boys want to see when they climb up onto the water tower, and why?

10. In the story Daddy Garbage, how does Strayhorn discover the baby in the box?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

How does the author portray nature and the forces of nature in the story Wickedness?

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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