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. What person do both the narrator and her mother of Home think about simultaneously?

2. Five years after her husband dies, with what is the priest's mother suffering?

3. Who is Blankenship?

4. For the most part, what is one thing the narrator say determines what the soldiers carried with them?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

2. Who is the narrator of Lawns, and what is her crime?

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

4. 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?

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

6. In the short story Aunt Granny Lith, who is Aunt Granny Lith?

7. 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?

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

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

10. Where is the priest going at the end of Departures, and where has he been? How is he traveling?

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

What does the title "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" mean in relation to the main character Connie?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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