The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What does Daddy Garbage discover in an alley?

3. In Murderers, what music could the boys hear from their vantage point?

4. What do Connie and Arnold find they are both listening to on the radio at the same time?

5. What question does G.R. ask Cody after hearing the story of what happened to Cody after his nap on the rocks?

Essay 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

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?

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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