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 All the Way in Flagstaff, what does William want to do when he grows up?

2. In Rock Springs, what is the narrator's daughter's name?

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

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

5. What color was the vintage Thunderbird?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Who does the mother in the story The First Day ask the woman at Walker Jones School and why?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Fat Girl chronicles the story of a young woman with an eating disorder. How does Louise suffer at the hands of those who wish to help her? Discuss her relationships with her mother, her college roommate, and her husband in your essay.

Essay Topic 2

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

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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