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 sport does Ezra Morrell love and follow?

2. What month is it when Howard leaves his family in Chapter 2?

3. How would you describe the main narrative perspective of Tinkers?

4. Where has George's hospital bed been placed in the beginning of the novel?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What does George discover in his mother's pamphlet in Chapter 2, Part 2? How does she respond when she finds him reading it?

3. How does the narrator describe George's attempt to make a memoir by cassette tape in Chapter 1?

4. When is the only occurrence when George witnesses firsthand one of his father's seizures?

5. How would you describe Kathleen's perspective in the story? What are Kathleen's feelings about her family?

6. How is George's condition described in the beginning of Chapter 1? Where is George located, and what does he ask for when he first awakens?

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

8. What metaphor is illustrated through the descriptions of George's house in Chapter 1, Part 1?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze and discuss the character of Kathleen in Tinkers. How does George’s relationship with his mother differ from his relationship with his father? How is Kathleen’s attitude described by the narrator? What kind of relationship does Kathleen have with her husband?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Examine the imagery of the collapsing house in Chapter 1. In what ways does the house represent George’s body as he faces death? What are some specific examples of similes and metaphors that are used in describing the house? Where does George end up when the house collapses around him?

(see the answer keys)

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