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 do both Cody and his partner drink on Sunday mornings?

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

3. Who are Evie and Lydia?

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

5. What does Daddy Garbage discover in an alley?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does Connie's mother treat her?

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

8. Who is Vopotik in the story Helping?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In his story The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien differentials between the physical things the soldiers carried on their backs and those they carry in their hearts and minds. Contrast and compare the physical and emotional things the men carried and how each affect a soldier.

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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