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. Why is the couple in A Romantic Weekend going away for the weekend?

2. What does Georgie hit when he is driving around with the narrator after their shifts?

3. What do Nick and Karen do on Sundays?

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

5. How does the protagonist in Tall Tales from the Mekong Deltareact when Lenny shows up at her house unannounced?

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. In the story All the Way in Flagstaff, Arizona, what does Walter keep hidden in the wheel well of the spare tire in the car? Why?

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

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

6. 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?

7. In Carol Bly's story "Talk of Heroes," who is Willi Varig?

8. 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?

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

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

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

What unusual literary device does Jamaica Kincaid use in her story Girl? Why and how does this device succeed in this piece?

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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