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 do Michael and Delores first find they have in common?

2. After the accident, where does Ad Magic encounter the white horse?

3. In Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta, where is the protagonist going when she first meets Lenny?

4. What show does Robert and his hosts end up watching on television?

5. Where does the narrator, Cheryl and Edna spend the night when their car breaks down?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Connie's mother treat her?

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

4. Where are the soldiers stationed in The Things They Carried, and who are the main characters?

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

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

7. What secret does the narrator of Lawns finally reveal to her boyfriend and her mother? How do they react?

8. In the story Dog Heaven, who is Sparky Smith and what game does he and the narrator play together?

9. How does Casey know Aunt Granny Lith, and what does he do when he sees her again?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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

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

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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