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

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 157 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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 Helping, who is Vopotik?

2. In Departures, according to the young seminarian, for how long do Jesuits meditate each day?

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

4. What gender does Beth believe her baby to be?

5. Who is Danica writing a postcard to about which that Jane criticizes her?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Cody's Story, who are Cody and G.R.? What do they do for a living and where?

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

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

4. How does Connie's mother treat her?

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

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

7. 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?

8. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

9. 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?

10. In the story Rules of the Game, who is Lau Fo?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Cathedral, the husband and Robert are very different people. Robert is blind and the husband is not, but that is not the most important different between them. How do these characters exchange sight in the evening they spend together? How does the evening change both men?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In her short story, Tan describes "invisible strength." How does MeiMei interpret the concept of invisible strength? What does she accomplish using this concept? What other female in another story uses what could be called invisible strength and how is it similar to MeiMei's?

(see the answer keys)

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