Tinkers Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Paul Harding
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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 is the name of the hospital that Kathleen has gotten a pamphlet for in Chapter 2?

2. The drowned child that Howard fishes from a creek is the daughter of what widow?

3. What does George ask his family to get when he first rises in bed in the beginning of the novel?

4. What is the name of Howard's family's cat in Chapter 2?

5. What does the narrator describe as Joe's favorite breakfast meal in Chapter 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where does George go when he runs away from home in Chapter 2, Part 2? What does he take with him?

2. Why do you think the author has constructed Tinkers with a nonlinear timeline? Why does he shift the narrative between Howard and George's stories in Chapter 1?

3. How does the author go about illustrating the opposite natures of George and Howard in Chapter 2?

4. How is Kathleen's behavior described when Howard Crosby arrives home late after having a seizure in Chapter 1, Part 2?

5. How does George become injured when he witnesses his father's seizure in Chapter 2, Part 1?

6. What is ironic about George's role within his family, as illustrated in Chapter 2, Part 2?

7. How does the setting change in Chapter 1 when George's family leaves him to prepare lunch?

8. What does George witness as he watches the doctor talking with his mother from the truck in Chapter 2, Part 2?

9. How does Howard find George after he's run away from home in Chapter 2, Part 2? What are his thoughts upon finding his son?

10. How would you describe the differences between George and Howard Crosby in terms of their successes in life?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the author’s literary allusions in Tinkers to The Scarlet Letter. When was The Scarlet Letter written? What subject matter is the story focused on? Where did Nathaniel Hawthorne supposedly attend college with the hermit Gilbert in Tinkers? What similarities do you see between the subjects and themes of The Scarlet Letter and Tinkers? Why do you think the author chooses to allude to this novel in Tinkers?

Essay Topic 2

Examine the theme of heartache in Tinkers. How does Howard perceive the feelings of heartache and loss that he feels each day? How does George perceive these feelings within himself? What does it say about George and Howard that they perceive pain so differently?

Essay Topic 3

Analyze and discuss the character of Howard Aaron Crosby in Tinkers. How is Howard perceived by his wife and children? How does the narrator describe Howard’s seizures? In what ways is Howard similar to George? How is he different?

(see the answer keys)

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