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 did Louise sneak out of the kitchen when she was a young child?

2. In Cathedral, who is Robert?

3. In Talk of Heroes, Who is Willi Varig?

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

5. In the story Girl, on what day does the speaker tell the girl to wash clothes?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are some of the things the speaker in Girl encourages the young girl to learn how to do in the home?

3. Who is Petra in Ann Beattie's story "A Vintage Thunderbird"?

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

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

6. 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?

7. Where do the narrator of Emergency and his friend Georgie work and for how long? What do they do there?

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

9. 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?

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

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

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 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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