The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Test | Final 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 Rules of Invisible Strength, what is invisible strength?

2. Who does Lemuel Strayhorn ask to help him with his and Daddy Garbage's discovery?

3. What does Cody's partner spell in the snow one morning?

4. In the story Murderers, what does Melvin Bloom tell the boys on the corner one summer afternoon?

5. What does Daddy Garbage discover in an alley?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who does Strayhorn immediately find to help him figure out what to do with the dead baby and why?

2. In Men Under Water, who is the narrator's wife, and how does she feel about him working for Gunther? What does the narrator do for a living?

3. In Moonwalk, who is Margaret Many Wounds and what is happening to her as the story opens? Who is taking care of her?

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

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

6. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

7. What questions does Danica ask Jane's father near the end of the train trip, and how does he respond?

8. How do the boys in Murderers get caught on their misadventure, and what happens to them?

9. What does G.R. ask Cody after he hears Cody's story of his near accident off the mountain that day?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the use of metaphors in the story Men Under Water. How do they reflect the relationship between the narrator and Gunther?

Essay Topic 3

The Fat Girl chronicles the story of a young woman with an eating disorder. How does Louise suffer at the hands of those who wish to help her? Discuss her relationships with her mother, her college roommate, and her husband in your essay.

(see the answer keys)

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