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 did Evie envy about Lydia?

2. What does the priest say to his mother when he sees her?

3. Who is Buck in Cody's Story?

4. How old is Connie in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

5. Where is Elliot's office?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Before she dies, what story does Margaret tell Evie and Lydia that change their lives?

3. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

4. 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?

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

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

8. How do the boys in Murderers get caught on their misadventure, and what happens to them?

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

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

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

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

Chose three female characters from any of the short stories in the book. Discuss what these three women have in common with each other, and how they are different from each other. Include the ways in which the woman are victims and of what or whom.

(see the answer keys)

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