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 the story Rock Springs, what animal does Edna win in a bet?

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

3. In the story Chopin in Winter, who is the first person in Mrs. Kubiac's family to graduate from high school and attend college?

4. In River of Names, who is the narrator's lover?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. In the story Murderers, who do the young boys want to see when they climb up onto the water tower, and why?

2. How does the narrator of Testimony of Pilot lose his hearing?

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

4. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

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

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

7. In the story Home, what does the narrator's mother say to her to convince the narrator to move in with her for awhile? What help does she offer her daughter in the move?

8. In the story Daddy Garbage, how does Strayhorn discover the baby in the box?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the story Dog Heaven, the author has created two children and a dog who live in a work of adults involved in the military. The narrator therefore focuses the story on the elements of childhood most recognized by people growing up. Discuss three of those elements and how they help the reader to relate to the story and to the narrator as a child.

Essay Topic 2

Chose three female characters from any of the short stories in the book. Discuss what these three women have in common with each other, and how they are different from each other. Include the ways in which the woman are victims and of what or whom.

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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