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. When does the story The First Day take place?

2. What kind of car does the narrator of Rock Springs steal?

3. In River of Names, what is the narrator certain she does not want to do?

4. What show does Robert and his hosts end up watching on television?

5. Who does Louise marry when she is thin?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

5. 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?

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

7. 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?

8. How does the woman in The Darling meet Lenny?

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

10. In The Fat Girl, what is the secret that follows Louise from high school to college?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Who is Ad Magic? How does his name give important information about who he is and what he does with his life? How does his affliction blur the lines of reality and fantasy for Ad Magic?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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