The Weight of Silence Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Heather Gudenkauf
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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. Where does Antonia think Griff has gone?

2. Of whom does the image of the little girl remind Louis?

3. From what does Louis separate himself?

4. What is Calli trying to figure out?

5. What is happening to Fielda?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Petra hear a noise and what does she decide to do?

2. What does Antonia reflect about concerning Calli when Calli stops talking?

3. What are Antonia's reflections about Louis and Griff?

4. What does Calli need to do when she wakes up early one morning?

5. What does Calli think about as her father is dragging her off into the woods?

6. What does Calli's father do after Roger comes by?

7. What is Ben's dream about and how is he feeling?

8. What does Martin remember about his daughter Petra?

9. What does Martin reflect about concerning his childhood?

10. What does Antonia do in her search for the girls and how is she like Martin concerning her daughter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many novels, and perhaps a majority, of novels end on a happy note. Discuss the following:

1. Why do you think many (most?) people want what they perceive as a happy or good ending to a novel? Explain your opinion. Do you? Why or why not?

2. What are three reasons to read fiction? Discuss each one in light of The Weight of Silence and whether or not it fulfills all three, two or one of the reasons you mention. Give examples as to why The Weight of Silence is or is not successful in fulfilling the reasons you discuss.

3. Do you think reading solely for entertainment is as good a reason to read as any other? Why or why not? Can any work of fiction or non-fiction, no matter how poorly written, enlighten, teach, stimulate thought? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Antonia cares for her son, making sure he eats. She reflects on her life choices, realizing that Louis was all she ever needed. When she felt abandoned by him, she cut him off, ending out on the path that led her to a very unhappy marriage. She knows that Griff has a good side to him, and part of her loves him. However, his drinking is more important to him, and it turns him into an unlovable man. Antonia can't help thinking she destroys everything she is a part of even though her children adore her.

1. Why do you think Louis would begin to look better to Antonia in the situation in the book? Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

2. Discuss why you think Antonia married Griff when Louis went off to college. Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Why do you think Antonia thinks she destroys everything of which she is a part? What examples are there in the text that support and do not support this belief. Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Calli's father has a drinking problem. He is moody as a result of this. When he's not drinking, he's a wonderful father, but when he is drinking Calli tries to stay away from him. The problem each day is that she never knows when she goes downstairs whether or not he is drinking alcohol. At the end of the chapter, the reader realizes that the father doesn't believe he really is Calli's father, and he's bitter about the fact.

1. Discuss what you think constitutes a drinking problem. Talk about symptoms, duration, behavior and changes in a person. Does Griff have a drinking problem according to what you define as a drinking problem? Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

2. How do you think the inconsistency of Griff's behavior affects his family's life? Do you think it would be better if he was a bad father all the time rather than just when drinking? Why or why not? Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

3. Do you think believing your wife has a child by another man is cause enough for drinking or is it only an excuse? Why or why not? Use examples from you own life and the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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