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 Cody's Story, who is Cody's partner?

2. Who does the narrator of Lawns fall in love with the second time she sees him?

3. In the story Helping, who is Vopotik?

4. Who does Connie meet in the drive-in restaurant at night?

5. Where does the narrator of the story Home go on Saturdays?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Casey know Aunt Granny Lith, and what does he do when he sees her again?

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

5. In the story Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been, who is Arnold French, and how does he strike up a conversation with Connie?

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

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

8. Who is the main character of Departures? How old is he when the story opens? Where is he going?

9. What secret does the narrator of Lawns finally reveal to her boyfriend and her mother? How do they react?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Georgie describes his job to a hitchhiker he meets and says "I save lives." Discuss the lives Georgie saves in the story. Do you think this is an accurate description of his job? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In the story Minor Heroism, from whose point of view is the story told? How is point of view, or voice, used to enrich the story? Discuss and use examples.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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