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. Who is telling the story of the first day?

2. In the story The First Day, what time does the mother tell her daughter she will pick her up?

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

4. Who becomes deaf playing drums in a band in the story Testimony of Pilot?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What happens to Ad Magic in the beginning of A White Horse, and how do the people he is with react to his situation?

3. 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?

4. 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?

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

6. What story does Edna tell the narrator of Rock Springs about her pet, a monkey?

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

9. In the story A Romantic Weekend, where are Beth and her companion going for their romantic weekend, and how does the narrator describe the apartment?

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 her short story, Tan describes "invisible strength." How does MeiMei interpret the concept of invisible strength? What does she accomplish using this concept? What other female in another story uses what could be called invisible strength and how is it similar to MeiMei's?

Essay Topic 2

What does the title "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" mean in relation to the main character Connie?

Essay Topic 3

Earl, in Rock Springs, tries to change his life by stealing a car and leaving Montana with his girlfriend and his daughter. How does the author use foreshadowing to prepare the reader for Earl's failed attempt at this new life? How does the last paragraph of the story foreshadow the rest of Earl's life?

(see the answer keys)

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