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 A Romantic Weekend, what does the woman want to talk about after dinner?

2. In The First Day, what does the mother say when she finds her daughter cannot attend Seaton?

3. In the story White Horse, who arrives in the light green Mercedes to help the horse?

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

5. Where do Irene and the children move when they leave Flagstaff?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is Hattie Benedict in Wickedness, and how does she survive the blizzard?

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

4. In the story Emergency, who is Terrence Weber? What unusual thing has happened to him?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgie describes his job to a hitchhiker he meets and says "I save lives." Discuss the lives Georgie saves in the story. Do you think this is an accurate description of his job? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Based on the plot of the story and the main character, why do you think Scott Bradfield names his story "The Darling"?

(see the answer keys)

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