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 Testimony of Pilot, who is Lillian?

2. What do Robert and the husband end up doing at the end of the television show?

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

4. Who are Louise's two girl friends in high school?

5. In the story A Romantic Weekend, where is the couple in the story going for the weekend?

Short Essay Questions

1. In A Romantic Weekend, how long do Beth and her companion stay in Washington,D.C. and how do they return home? Why did they actually make the trip?

2. Why does Daniel not want the narrator of Home to see his back?

3. In the story Rules of the Game, who is Lau Fo?

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

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

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

7. In Rules of the Game, what is Meimei's mother's "chang"?

8. In the short story Train, who are the two little girls on the train, how old are they, and where are they going?

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

10. What memory does Bryan relate in the third part of the story Minor Heroism?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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