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. Why does Mr. Muirhead say he always talks to young men?

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

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

4. In his dream, what does the priest see the soldier do?

5. In the story Trains, how old are Danica and Jane?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the story Dog Heaven, who is Sparky Smith and what game does he and the narrator play together?

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

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

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

5. In the story Daddy Garbage, how does Strayhorn discover the baby in the box?

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

7. 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?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the story Lawn, the narrator steals from the mail room of her dormitory. In her life, she has had a great deal stolen from her. Discuss what the narrator steals and why, and then what has been stolen from her and why. Can she ever be compensated for what has been stolen from her? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

In his Introduction, Tobias Wolff quotes Kafka as saying literature is like an axe with which to break "the frozen sea within us." What did Kafka mean by this? What two stories in the collection had this affect on you and why?

Essay Topic 3

Susan Power entitled her story about Margaret Many Wounds' death Moonwalk. Why did she use this title? How does the title mean more than one thing in the context of the story?

(see the answer keys)

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