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

2. Who does Lemuel Strayhorn ask to help him with his and Daddy Garbage's discovery?

3. What do the two men who come to visit Gunther leave with him as they go?

4. In Lawns, how does the narrator describe her mother?

5. In Aunt Granny Lith, when did Casey's first wife die?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. In Men Under Water, who is the narrator's wife, and how does she feel about him working for Gunther? What does the narrator do for a living?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of metaphors in the story Men Under Water. How do they reflect the relationship between the narrator and Gunther?

Essay Topic 2

The Fat Girl chronicles the story of a young woman with an eating disorder. How does Louise suffer at the hands of those who wish to help her? Discuss her relationships with her mother, her college roommate, and her husband in your essay.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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