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

2. In Cathedral, who is Robert?

3. In the story White Horse, who arrives in the light green Mercedes to help the horse?

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

5. What instructions does the speaker give in The Girl about eating?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

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

6. In the story Chopin in Winter, what do Michael and Dzia-Dzia talk about at night and why?

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

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

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

10. How does Dzia-Dzia describe Chopin's death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Alcohol is a theme in some of the stories in this collection. Compare the drinking and the effect drinking has on these characters and their close relationships: Walter in All The Way To Flagstaff, Arizona; Willi Vorig in Talk of Heroes, and Lenny in Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta.

Essay Topic 2

How does the author portray nature and the forces of nature in the story Wickedness?

Essay Topic 3

Earl, in Rock Springs, tries to change his life by stealing a car and leaving Montana with his girlfriend and his daughter. How does the author use foreshadowing to prepare the reader for Earl's failed attempt at this new life? How does the last paragraph of the story foreshadow the rest of Earl's life?

(see the answer keys)

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