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 Aunt Granny Lith, what does Nomey give Beth to wear?

2. In the story Home, why does the narrator come home to live with her mother?

3. Where does Margaret explain her grandmother's wedding dress is?

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

5. How old is the priest in Departures when he goes by train to his family's home after six years away?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

5. Where are the soldiers stationed in The Things They Carried, and who are the main characters?

6. What are some of the superstitious things the soldiers carry with them, and what is the most unusual of them?

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

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

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Alcohol is a theme in some of the stories in this collection. Compare the drinking and the effect drinking has on these characters and their close relationships: Walter in All The Way To Flagstaff, Arizona; Willi Vorig in Talk of Heroes, and Lenny in Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta.

Essay Topic 2

Who is Ad Magic? How does his name give important information about who he is and what he does with his life? How does his affliction blur the lines of reality and fantasy for Ad Magic?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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