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. Why can't Petra sleep?

2. When does Calli tend to avoid her father?

3. What can Ben not seem to get?

4. What changed her kindergarten teacher's opinion?

5. How does Mrs. White treat Calli?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How are Fielda and Martin responding to what they see as a lack of action?

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

4. Who is banging on Antonia's door and what do they want?

5. How has Calli's bathroom crisis worsened and what does she decide to do?

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

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

8. What is Martin and Fielda's relationship like?

9. What is Louis willing to do to solve this case and what does he think about concerning Antonia?

10. What happens when Calli's father sees her?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Thoroughly analyze how the setting informs the plot in The Weight of Silence.

2. Trace and analyze one major theme of The Weight of Silence. How is the theme represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

3. Trace and analyze two secondary themes of The Weight of Silence. How are the themes represented by symbolism? By the characters' behaviors? By the action?

Essay Topic 2

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The Weight of Silence. Questions that Gudenkauf most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Gudenkauf's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Gudenkauf's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Gudenkauf and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

Essay Topic 3

Many readers of fiction place themselves in the position of one character, wondering if they would do the same thing as that character. Discuss the following:

1. Do you think one of the values of literature is to serve as a reflection of oneself? Why or why not?

2. Socrates said "Know thyself." How can reading a book such as The Weight of Silence help a reader to know him/herself? Do you find yourself reflecting on your own character and abilities when reading The Weight of Silence? Why or why not.

3. Choose one specific incident in The Weight of Silence to discuss and compare one of the characters' response to how you think you would respond.

(see the answer keys)

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