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 Moonwalk, who is Margaret Many Wounds?

2. What happens to Cody as he turns to go home from his nap on the rocks?

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

4. Where are Jane's parents drinking on the train?

5. Who dies on the day of the narrator's story in Murderers?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What news does the narrator receive about Sparky Smith shortly after her move from Fort Niagara?

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

5. In the story Home, what does the narrator's mother say to her to convince the narrator to move in with her for awhile? What help does she offer her daughter in the move?

6. What inspiration does Gunther in Men Under Water get about his next screenplay after visiting Acid Rain? Who does he find waiting for him at his home when he and the narrator pull up to his house?

7. In the story Helping, who are Elliot and Grace and what do they do for a living? How are their jobs similar and how are they different?

8. How does Connie's mother treat her?

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

10. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Based on the plot of the story and the main character, why do you think Scott Bradfield names his story "The Darling"?

Essay Topic 3

Susan Power entitled her story about Margaret Many Wounds' death Moonwalk. Why did she use this title? How does the title mean more than one thing in the context of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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